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Release: Oct. 8, 2002

English professor Miriam Gilbert wins Hubbard award for teaching excellence

Lauded as "an exemplar of teaching excellence," Miriam Gilbert, a professor of English in the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, accepted the Philip G. Hubbard Award for Outstanding Education at the 2002 UI Convocation Tuesday, Oct. 1.

The one-time award was created by Joseph A. Walder, M.D., Ph.D., a former UI professor of biochemistry and founder of Integrated DNA Technologies in Coralville. In honor of the late UI professor and administrator Philip Hubbard and his commitment to educational excellence, Walder provided $18,000 for the award to recognize a UI faculty member who has demonstrated extended teaching excellence.

In nominating Gilbert for the award her colleagues described her as "devoted," "imaginative," "passionate" and "energetic." Even after more than 30 years teaching Shakespeare to undergraduates, Gilbert continues to seek innovative ways to present the material. In the past five years, aided by an explosion of film and video versions of Shakespeare's works, Gilbert has created a collection of CD-ROMs containing several versions of individual scenes from the plays. This enables her to present contrasting versions of the same scene at the click of a mouse, allowing students to compare the actors' and directors' interpretive choices.

"Miriam's commitment to the advancement of teaching at all levels, both here on campus and throughout the world, are richly evident in her service record," Boyd said in presenting the award. "Her generosity and her deep care for each of her students not only make her the perfect choice for this award, but a standard by which all other faculty can measure their own teaching."

Gilbert began her teaching career in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in 1969. She is the co-editor of two major drama anthologies for college students, "Stages of Drama," and "Modern and Contemporary Drama." Her work on Shakespeare's plays in performance includes a number of articles, plus a book-length study of "Love's Labor's Lost." She is also known for her articles on teaching Shakespeare through classroom performance-based activities, and has directed eight summer seminars, sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities, for both college and high school teachers of Shakespeare and other dramatic texts.

Walder's company, Integrated DNA Technologies, grew out of his UI research and initially was housed in the UI Technology Innovation Center business incubator on the Oakdale campus. The company now employs more than 300 people at its corporate headquarters at 1710 Commercial Park in Coralville and has executive offices in suburban Chicago. The biotechnology company, is a major force in advancing biomedical research as both a supplier of custom oligonucleotides and a developer of innovative new biotechnology. As a leading manufacturer of synthetic DNA/RNA IDT provides products to over 14,000 customers worldwide.