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UW Names Top First-Year Course Instructors

April 12, 2021

Thirty-eight University of Wyoming instructors who inspire excitement, inquiry and autonomy in first-year courses are Promoting Intellectual Engagement (PIE) Award recipients.

PIE Award recipients were nominated online by first- and second-year students, and then selected by a committee based on the number of nominations and students’ comments. The committee reviewed more than 200 nominations.

Several programs within the Office of Academic Affairs and the Division of Student Affairs sponsor the PIE Award: Advising, Career and Exploratory Studies, the Ellbogen Center for Teaching and Learning, the LeaRN Program, and Residence Life and Dining Services.

First-year teaching is always a crucial, vital role at UW, Interim Provost Anne Alexander says.

“Our incoming students plot their route through a transformational time during that first semester and year,” she says. “First-year instructors are navigators, translators, ambassadors and role models for their students.”

She adds that, during the pandemic the past year, the instructors’ roles have been more important and critical than ever.

“Our first-year class had a disrupted senior year of high school and an incredibly strange introduction to university life. These PIE faculty worked incredibly hard to engage students in their courses and extend grace and compassion in students’ journeys through the strange waters of this academic year,” Alexander says. “PIE Awards are always coveted because they are a recognition of our faculty’s creative and hard work in spurring excitement and lighting the flame of inquiry in the life of a scholar. In a year when many incoming students felt isolated, lonely, confused and often disengaged, these instructors -- and many more -- made a real difference.”

PIE Award recipients, listed by their programs, departments, schools or colleges, are:

-- Rich Adams, Department of Anthropology.

-- Brian Barber, Life Sciences Program.

-- Diana Baumbach, Department of Visual and Literary Arts.

-- Paul Bergstraesser, Department of English and Honors College.

-- Aysenur Bicer, Department of Physics and Astronomy.

-- Cameron Blais, Department of English.

-- Melissa Butler, Department of Mathematics and Statistics.

-- Joseph Carver, Department of Music.

-- Joshua Clapp, Department of Psychology.

-- Madison Clark, Department of Communication and Journalism.

-- Tessa Dallarosa, Department of Visual and Literary Arts.

-- Fredrick Douglass Dixon, School of Culture, Gender and Social Justice.

-- Jefferson Edgens, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics.

-- Tyler Fall, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, and Honors College.

-- Mary Fenton, Honors College.

-- Garrett Genereux, Campus Recreation.

-- Matt Gray, Department of Psychology.

-- Shawn Griffiths, Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering.

-- Lori Howe, Honors College.

-- Shelby Hutson, LeaRN Program.

-- Randa Jabbour, Department of Plant Sciences.

-- Catherine Johnson, LeaRN Program.

-- Patrick Kelley, Department of Zoology and Physiology, and Honors College.

-- Christina Knox, Department of Mathematics and Statistics.

-- Jennifer Kreiser, Department of Accounting and Finance.

-- Sarah Lee, Department of Family and Consumer Sciences.

-- Mark Lyford, Department of Botany.

-- Andrew Meyer, Department of English.

-- Rudiger Michalak, Department of Physics and Astronomy.

-- Jennifer Painter, Division of Kinesiology and Health.

-- Mark Person, Department of Modern and Classical Languages.

-- Josh Sainz, American Studies Program.

-- Adriana Salgueiro, Department of Modern and Classical Languages.

-- Jacqueline Shinker, Department of Geography.

-- Ann Stebner Steele, Honors College.

-- John Willford, WWAMI (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, Idaho) Medical Education Program.

-- Kassandra Willingham, Department of Molecular Biology.

-- Yan Zhang, Department of Modern and Classical Languages.

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