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September 21, 2001

Two UW-RF Colleges Present Teaching Awards

Five professors in two of the colleges at UW-River Falls received "Outstanding Faculty Member of the Year" awards from the colleges for the fields they teach in. The faculty were selected for the awards by students, and the awards recently were presented by the deans for each of the colleges at their faculty meetings.

Associate Professor Jacque Foust, who teaches marketing in was named outstanding faculty member for the College of Business and Economics. Foust has taught at the University since 1985, and serves as the chair of business administration and accounting. Previously he was a vice president of Paine Webber Commodities in Chicago for 18 years.

Comments from the students who voted for Faust included: "Those students with experience in business-related topics were encouraged to share their experience with the class. Jacque was always willing to listen to school concerns and offer guidance or suggestions when appropriate."

College of Business and Economics Dean Barbara Nemecek, who is in her first year in the newly-created position at the University, said, "I was really quite pleased to be able to give this award to Jacque, especially because Jacque was instrumental in encouraging me to come to River Falls. He was the head of the search committee for a dean last year."

Said Foust of the award, "I feel very honored to receive this recognition from the College. This is an exciting and rewarding place to work because of our students and because of my colleagues who not only value students but also each other."

Four faculty members were recognized as outstanding faculty members by the College of Arts and Sciences: Professor Keith Chavey and Lecturer Marilyn Duerst for math and sciences, Professor Clifford Mottaz for social science and Associate Professor Barbara Werner for arts and humanities.

Chavey , who teaches mathematics, came to UW-RF in 1991. He serves on the departmentıs committees on secondary education and on the merit process, and he organizes and runs the annual meeting for new majors.

Among the comments from students was, "Professor Chavey really cared about teaching. When I didnıt understand the materials, he took time out of his busy schedule to work with me one on one. I will be forever grateful."

Chavey said of the honor, "It is heartwarming to be remembered by former students. I am very pleased to receive such an award from a school with so many outstanding faculty members."

Duerst has been on the chemistry faculty since 1981, primarily teaching chemistry courses for non-science and elementary education majors. Throughout the 1990s, Duerst was project director for two major teacher enhancement grants sponsored by the National Science Foundation, totaling more than $700,000. She has also conducted teacher workshops and has led science presentations to more than 14,000 children in classrooms and libraries, and at Girl and Boy Scout meetings.

Among the comments from Duerstıs students was, "She made the coursework fun and applicable to my field. I use the experiments I learned from her in my classroom today."

Said Duerst of her nomination, "I am both astonished and humbled by this honor. I am particularly amazed because I teach primarily courses for non-science students. I love teaching science, and I guess it must show."

Mottaz, who has taught at UW-RF since 1969, previously worked as a social caseworker for St. Paul Family Services. His professional experience includes the publication of a number of papers on topics related to work and occupations, such as work satisfaction, work alienation and organizational commitment.

In addition to being named Outstanding Faculty Member of the Year for social science, Mottaz was named 2001 "Advisor of the Year" by his students and advisees at the University.

Said Mottaz, "I am very pleased and honored to have been selected for this award. What makes it so special is that it comes from the students. Iıd like to thank the students who voted for me. "

Werner, who began teaching at the University since 1994, coordinates the Womenıs Studies program in addition to teaching speech communication. She is past president and current board member of the Organization for the Study of Communication, Language and Gender. In 1991, she was recipient of the Cheris Kramarae Outstanding Dissertation Award.

Her former students say of her:

"Excellent professor! She was among the best teachers Iıve ever been fortunate to study with. She is a good communicator; well-read and intelligent."

"She adds a dimension to education that is interactive and challenging. She is willing to take the extra time to help students understand."

Said Werner, "It is the ultimate honor to be acknowledged by my students as an outstanding teacher. My joy of teaching is further enhanced by this recognition; I feel energized, and, in a sense, renewed. I am very proud of this award and want to thank all of those students who nominated me for it."

College of Arts and Sciences Dean Gorden Hedahl said of the award, "It is important to recognize and celebrate outstanding teaching, as that is the heart of our mission and one of the primary motivations for the faculty who have chosen to make their careers at UW-River Falls. This award is especially significant, as it is chosen by students who have graduated and who 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.

"Keith, Marilyn, Cliff and Barb are all exemplary teachers and I am extremely pleased that their dedication and ability to inspire has been acknowledged by their former students. They also serve as models and representatives for the large number of quality faculty members who work as effective educators and mentors for our students."

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