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Last updated: Friday, 21-Feb-2003 19:45:53 CST

Aug. 29, 2003

Outstanding Teachers Named at UW-River Falls

Three faculty members of the College of Arts and Sciences at UW-River Falls were recently honored with Outstanding Faculty Awards for 2003. UW-RF graduates selected marketing communications Associate Professor Stephen Olsen, biology Professor Mark Bergland and sociology, anthropology and criminal justice Professor Brian Copp for this honor.

For this year's nominations, 1,984 ballots were sent to May and December graduates from the years 1999 and 2001. Graduates were asked to nominate two faculty members in each division, focusing on excellence in teaching; understanding and helpfulness as advisers; and ability to motivate students. Comments were also invited.

Olsen's skills in motivating and inspiring students were applauded. One student remarked, "He went out of his way to make me successful—not only in school, but also in starting a career." Another student said, "His kindness and knowledge are a great gift to students."

Bergland's nominations noted his enthusiasm and for making his subject exciting. One student stated, "Mark Bergland has such an enthusiasm for biology that it's hard not to be enthusiastic as a student. As my freshman biology professor, his teaching and his class solidified my decision to major in biology." Another student remarked, "He pushed me to be a better teacher. Not just good, but great."

Students appreciated Copp's approach to teaching. One student said that Copp "chose stimulating readings resulting in excellent discussions." Another student said, "Dr. Copp brought humor and grace to his teaching opportunities. He engaged his students and at the same time managed to instill knowledge."

Said Dean of the College of Arts and Science Gorden Hedahl, "It is important to recognize and celebrate outstanding teaching, as that is the heart of our mission and one on the primary motivations for the faculty who have chosen to make their careers at UW-RF.

"This award is especially significant, as it is chosen by students who have graduated and have entered the work force, so they are able to reflect on their entire University experience and recognize those who have made lasting impacts on their lives and careers.

"Steve, Mark and Brian are all exemplary teachers and I am pleased that their dedication and ability to inspire has been acknowledged by their former students. It is impressive to note that Bergland and Copp have received this recognition previously and Olsen has been recognized as the Outstanding Adviser by the University."

Outstanding Faculty Awards have been given annually since 1985, one in each division of the College of Arts and Sciences: arts and humanities; sciences and mathematics; and the social sciences. Recipients are eligible to receive the award only once in 10 years.

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