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Recognizing the faculty

U faculty are recognized for teaching, scholarly and creative research, service, innovation and impact, community-engaged teaching and more.

Each year, the University of Utah recognizes the achievements of members of its faculty. This year’s honorees include:

Distinguished Teaching Awards

Matt Basso, Associate Professor

Department of History, College of Humanities
Division of Gender Studies, School for Cultural and Social Transformation

“I have learned from his [Matt Basso’s] teaching expertise, admired his innovative contributions to curriculum, and marveled at his capacity to teach the radically different student groups that come to classes in those two academic units (history and Gender Studies). Dr. Basso’s contributions extend from innovative programmatic and curriculum design to the individual student, attesting to the breadth and integral nature of his vision of learning.”

Anthony Butterfield, Associate Professor/Lecturer

Department of Chemical Engineering, College of Engineering

“Tony is the faculty member in our department who has the greatest impact on both the success and well-being of our student body. He teaches courses to our students in both semesters of the Freshman and Senior years, and thereby starts them off and prepares them for the rigors of the next three years, and then helps them make it through the challenging final year of our program. He does this through highly-effective classroom instruction, as well as through mentoring on life-skills needed for success as students and beyond. The students appreciate his commitment, and he is consistently one of the highest-ranked faculty members in the department and college, based on student course evaluations.”

Kristine Jordan, Associate Professor

Department of Nutrition and Integrated Physiology, College of Health

“Kristine’s popularity as a mentor is readily apparent on her CV and teaching evaluations. Indeed, she has mentored an extraordinarily high percentage of our CMP student thesis projects, as she is the most popular choice of students to chair their supervisory committees. Kristine works extremely long hours, largely because of the time she spends advising students on study design and the lengthy editing she does of her student’s writings. I have difficulty explaining just how hard she works or how committed she is to this task. She is often the last to leave at the end of the day because of her commitment to providing her students with the very best experience. While many faculty members will give a single round of edits to a student document, Kristine’s students go through multiple revisions before creating their final submissions. This give-and-take provides for a wonderfully individualized and enriched learning experience.”

Beth Krensky, Professor

Department of Art & Art History, College of Fine Arts

“Dr. Krensky has shown deep, enduring commitment to the development and implementation of cutting edge arts education curricula that pushes our arts teaching students to think inclusively and globally in an effort to forward the field of arts education. Presently, the community-based arts education research she is conducting is providing opportunities for select undergraduate and graduate students to experience the simultaneous ability to empower communities through art-making collaboration and partnership. These student researchers, through Dr. Krensky’s mentorship, are making important contributions to the field as they investigate global issues via art education, art-making, and community engagement. Dr. Krensky’s classes empower our arts teaching students to work authentically alongside young people and to utilize the community’s experiences as the inspiration for the creative work.”

Kelly MacArthur, Associate Professor/Lecturer

Department of Mathematics, College of Science

“It is impossible to capture the full range of MacArthur’s accomplishments in a short letter. She has been involved with virtually every aspect of the Department of Mathematics’ lower-division courses. At various times, she has served as course coordinator for these courses overseeing the many sections offered each semester. Her coordinating efforts have also included designing and implementing new curricula, leading ELO and assessment efforts, and mentoring graduate student instructors. The TA training program that MacArthur developed in the Department of Mathematics is in many ways a model for other such programs across the College. She has taken leadership roles within her home department (as Assistant Chair for example) and at the College level (as an HHMI faculty fellow studying best practices for inclusive classrooms). MacArthur has also led the effort to create a carefully indexed lecture video library. Each semester, these videos receive thousands of hits. MacArthur’s efforts have made it possible for many instructors to entirely flip sections or otherwise pursue innovative formats of these classes. To take but just one example, in 2016, MacArthur herself used the Math 1030 videos to design and implement an online version of 1030. Online 1030 continues to grow in importance (and enrollments) for students pursuing their QA General Education requirement. Then there is the matter of MacArthur’s actual teaching! I could literally fill pages with students who said that MacArthur was either their best math teacher ever, or instead, simply their best teacher ever.”

Distinguished Research Awards

David Bowling

School of Biological Sciences
College of Science

Bruce Gale

Department of Mechanical Engineering
College of Engineering

Shelley D. Minteer

Department of Chemistry
College of Science

Distinguished Faculty Service Award

Andrew S. Merryweather, Associate Professor

Department of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering

Calvin S. and Jeneal N. Hatch Prize in Teaching

Don G. Wardell, Professor

Department of Operations and Information Systems
David Eccles School of Business

“Professor Wardell leverages a variety of pedagogical techniques to enhance student learning. First, he has developed a comprehensive set of notes for each of the courses he teaches. These notes are detailed and help him to structure the course material. He shares these prior to class and although much of the core content is included there are some sections that are purposefully left blank to be filled in during class. This benefits students by allowing them to participate in discussion, actively think during the class, and not feel like they need to write every detail down because the majority of the content is already provided. However, it also affords the opportunity for some of the value-added content to be discovered in real-time during class. He also will share the completed version after class to reinforce what was covered that day. To this day, I still refer back to the notes I took during his courses. I have tried to follow his approach in my teaching because I know how effective it was as a student to have a professor who is well-organized particularly when the content is more technical in nature.”

Community Engaged Teaching & Scholarship Award

Tino Nyawelo, Associate Professor/Lecturer

Department of Physics & Astronomy, College of Science

“The quality of Tino’s educational outreach research projects is assessed through its impact on the community population, and on the U. For the REU/SURP programs, Prof. Nyawelo visits national conferences (like SACNAS) encouraging students to apply. Tino has placed over 60 students in faculty labs and demonstrated the efficacy of several valuable support tools to assist community students in overcoming academic, professional, and/or personal challenges. REU Students who have completed the research projects are then mentored to present their work at national conferences, thereby paving an important pathway for access to future graduate education in STEM fields. For the REFUGES programs, over the past two years all seniors in the afterschool program (22 total) have been accepted to the U or another Utah university, and the majority have also received substantive financial aid packages, including some full-ride scholarships. Of the 15 students in the summer 2017 REFUGES cohort (9 refugees, 4 Latinx/Hispanic, 1 Pacific Islander, 1 multi-ethnic), 11 have earned Dean's List honors in their respective college during at least one of the academic semesters following their summer experience.”

Distinguished Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Mentor Awards

Sheila E. Crowell

Associate Professor
Department of Psychology
College of Social and Behavioral Science

William A. Smith

Department of Education, Culture & Society and ethnic studies
College of Education and school for cultural and social transformation

Pearl Sandick

Associate Professor
Department of Physics & Astronomy
College of Science

Gregory E. Smoak

Associate Professor
Department of History
College of Humanities

Distinguished Professors

Robin Kundis Craig

Professor of Law
S.J. Quinney College of Law

Paisley Rekdal

Professor of Literature, English, Humanities
College of Humanities

Valeria Molinero

Professor of Theoretical Chemistry
Department of Chemistry, College of Science

Jared Rutter

Department of Biochemistry, School of Medicine

Marc D. Porter

Department of Chemical Engineering, College of Engineering

Michael W. Varner

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, School of Medicine

Other honors

Honors Professor

Nora McLachlan Wood

Associate Professor/Lecturer, LEAP
Undergraduate Studies

University Professor

Anne Cook

Department of Educational Psychology, College of Education

Public Service Professor

Christopher Mead

Assistant Professor/Lecturer
Honors College

Outstanding Public School Teacher

Robert Durham

Science Teacher, East High School
Salt Lake City School District