2019 top teachers

Meredith Thomsen, biology professor, is one of six UWL faculty to earn the Eagle Teaching Excellence Award.

Meredith Thomsen, biology professor, is one of six UWL faculty to earn the Eagle Teaching Excellence Award.

This is fifth in a series of profiles on this year’s Eagle Teaching Excellence Award winners

There is no doubt UWL faculty members make a major difference in the lives and academic experiences of students. This year UWL’s Provost Office received more than 600 nominations from UWL students to recognize excellent teachers.

From these nominations, a committee selected six faculty members as the 2019 Eagle Teaching Excellence Award winners. Their names were announced at the end of spring semester and as part of spring commencement. They will also be recognized among colleagues at the Chancellor’s All-University Address in fall.

The winners are:

Nilakshi Borah ~ Finance
Mary Hamman ~ Economics
Tom Jesse ~ English Education
Terry Smith ~ Communication Studies
Meredith Thomsen ~ Biology
Nathan Warnberg ~ Mathematics & Statistics

This is the fifth in a series of stories profiling the winners.

Meredith Thomsen finds joy in collaborative, behind-the-scenes classroom prep

Biology Professor Meredith Thomsen gets excited about the work happening behind the scenes to promote student learning at UWL.

“I have always enjoyed the performance aspect of teaching — figuring out how to get and hold students’ attention, how to strike a balance between lecturing and discussion, how to present tricky concepts,” she says. “But my favorite part happens behind the scenes, in projects like the Organismal Biology redesign, or in CATL workshops. We have a lot of smart colleagues at UWL who are intellectually engaged with the question of how to best promote student learning. I love working with them to find new ways to meet that challenge.”

Thomsen just completed her 13th year at UWL. She came to campus after completing her doctoral degree at the University of California-Berkeley. There she gained teaching experience as a graduate student in a variety of courses in a National Science Foundation outreach program working with middle school students and leading workshops for natural resources professionals.

At UWL, she frequently teaches in UWL’s Organismal Biology lecture and lab. Each fall she also teaches Quantitative Methods in Ecology. And she teaches a graduate-level course on science writing and communication.