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A committee of the University of Wyoming’s alumni student organization, Wyo-gold, has selected biologist Mark Lyford as this year’s Outstanding Faculty Award recipient.
The award recognizes “the faculty member who had the greatest influence in terms of preparing students during their years at UW for a career after college.” The committee cited Lyford for his dedication to student success and the significant impact he has made in students’ lives.
Lyford directs UW’s Life Sciences Program and lectures in the College of Arts and Sciences. He teaches courses such as “Discovering Biology” (LIFE 1002) and “Current Issues in Biology” (LIFE 1003), and actively promotes the university’s new Science Initiative.
Nominating students Ashley Golden and Raleah Cisneros, both from Gillette, described Lyford as one of the best professors they have ever had.
“His enthusiasm for the course and his students is unmatched; he is able to teach a science course in a way that is interesting and engaging, allowing for students who may not traditionally love science to truly understand the material,” they wrote. “His passion for teaching shows through every single day and is greatly appreciated.”
Lyford’s research area is in science education, with emphasis on how different pedagogical and assessment practices impact student learning. He also studies different curricular approaches to attaining scientific literacy, and making connections between science and society.
He received his Bachelor of Arts degree (1993) at St. Olaf College, and earned both his Master of Science (1995) and Ph.D. (2001) at UW.