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University of Iowa News Release

March 31, 2005

Three UI Faculty Win Top Teaching Award

Three University of Iowa faculty members have won the 2005 President and Provost Award For Teaching Excellence in recognition of their years of outstanding teaching. The recipients are: Edwin Dove, associate professor of biomedical engineering in the UI College of Engineering; Ed Folsom, Carver Professor of English in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; and John-Mark Stensvaag, Charlotte and Frederick Hubbell Professor of Environmental and Natural Resources Law in the UI College of Law.

The award, which is administered by the Council on Teaching, was created in 2004 as a university-wide recognition for faculty members who have demonstrated a sustained high level of teaching excellence. Each college nominates one faculty member for the award, which carries a $3,000 prize. Nominees submit a statement of their teaching philosophy along with a CV highlighting teaching activities and letters of endorsement from current and former students and colleagues.

The Council on Teaching selected the three winners from the pool of nominees.

Dove has taught in the UI College of Engineering since 1985 and won the James N. Murray-University of Iowa Teaching Award in 1987. He also has won several of the college's teaching awards including the Tau Beta Pi Outstanding Teacher Award (1990, 1996), the Alpha Eta Mu Beta Biomedical Engineering Teaching Award (1991), the Biomedical Engineering Student Society Outstanding Teaching Award (1993, 1995, 1996) and the Hawkeye Engineer Teaching Award (1995, 1996). In 2002 he received the President's Award for Technology Innovation, which recognizes the most creative use of technology in teaching each year. As chair of the department's Undergraduate Program Committee for more than 10 years, Dove was instrumental in reorganizing and enhancing the biomedical engineering curriculum. Recognizing that many talented undergraduates were being lured away from the UI for graduate school, Dove worked with the Graduate College to develop a combined B.S./M.S. degree allowing students to earn bachelor's and master's degrees in biomedical engineering in five years. Students praise his genuine interest in their suggestions for improving and enhancing courses and his willingness to "adapt his teaching methods to connect with any type of learning style."

Folsom has taught in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences since 1976, directed the General Education Literature Program from 1982 to 1985 and 1989 to 1992, and served as chair of the English department from 1991 to 1995. He won a Regents' Award for Faculty Excellence in 1996 and a Collegiate Teaching Award in 2003. Folsom was an early innovator in classroom technology, developing the online Walt Whitman Archive and participating in a joint effort with colleagues nationwide to create The Classroom Electric, a web-based resource for teaching the poetry of Whitman and Emily Dickinson. His colleagues admire his "intellectual generosity -- a continual willingness to share his time, knowledge, and excitement for learning with students and faculty," and students say his enthusiasm inspires them to probe and think about literature as they never have before. Students praise his "personal warmth and approachability" and those who have gone on to teach elsewhere say that his model of teaching is the standard they try to live up to.

Stensvaag has taught in the UI College of Law since 1988 and won the university's Collegiate Teaching Award in 1989 and 2002. He was a 1996 recipient of a UI Instructional Improvement Award, which supports faculty in bringing innovative teaching methods and technologies to the classroom. Students and faculty peers alike praise his constant innovation and consistent energy in the classroom. Students note that after the first meeting of any class, large or small, Stensvaag greets them by name on campus. This is an important element of his teaching philosophy, which also compels him to "treat students with respect, honoring their integrity and uplifting them so that they will become competent, confident and empathetic attorneys." Faculty colleagues say that his commitment to students extends beyond the classroom. He is known for attending student-sponsored activities, especially those sponsored by groups with limited membership. Faculty and students alike "extol the energy, insight, clarity and imagination he brings to the classroom."

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Mary Geraghty Kenyon, 319-384-0011, mary-kenyon@uiowa.edu.