September 17, 1999
College Recognizes 3 For Teaching Excellence
Three faculty members were recently recognized for teaching excellence in the College of Arts & Science at UW-River Falls.
Recognized with the Outstanding Faculty Award for the last academic year were history and art Professor John Buschen, biology Professor Douglas Johnson and English Professor Carole Gerster.
Dean Gorden Hedahl said the recognition underscores the priority the College and University place on excellence in teaching of undergraduate students.
"I think that it is important to recognize and celebrate outstanding teaching, as that is the heart of our mission and it is the primary motivation for the faculty who have chosen to make their careers at UW-River Falls," Hedahl said in announcing the awards.
"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.
"John, Carole and Doug 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 other quality faculty members who work as effective educators and mentors for the students at UW-RF."
Buschen, who is being recognized for the second time with the College's award, joined the faculty in 1966 with a doctorate from Indiana University. He teaches art history and the interdisciplinary senior capstone in the humanities. He has previously been recognized with the UW-RF Distinguished Teaching Award.
Among the comments from alumni who nominated him were:
"Art History Awesome! But very difficult!"
Another noted, "He makes history come to life! I was so caught up in his lectures I forgot I was in class. His class was my only C on my transcript but I learned more from him than any of my other professors!"
An alum noted Buschen "brings his passion to life in the classroom."
Another contributed that he is "Incredibly gifted, genuinely caring."
Johnson joined the faculty in 1978 with a doctorate from the University of Minnesota. He teaches biology and the interdisciplinary senior capstone in science. This is his second citation as an outstanding faculty member in the College.
Among the comments from alumni who nominated him was, "Dr. Johnson was my adviser, as well as my professor for several classes. He was a great help in boosting my confidence, he was a trusted person to turn to, and he was a great teacher."
Gerster joined the faculty in 1989 with a doctorate from the University of Minnesota. She teaches literature, film and the humanities.
Students and alumni who nominated her wrote:
"She is dynamic in her teaching. She related subject matter to real life and shared personal experiences. Always had her door open to students whether it was for instructional help or just to chat. I think about her often in my teaching! "
She left a great impression-a smart and interesting person to listen to."
Another wrote, "I'm nominating Carole because she made me look at things with a different eye and think totally 'outside of the box' in areas outside my major. She helped me see the world through different eyes."
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