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Marquette News Briefs
MAY 1, 2014

Four professors honored with Teaching Excellence Awards at Père Marquette Dinner

Four Marquette faculty members were honored tonight with the university's highest teaching honor, Teaching Excellence Awards, at the Père Marquette Dinner, which was emceed by Dr. Sarah Bonewits Feldner, associate professor of communication studies and a 2012 Teaching Excellence Award winner. Dr. Sandra Hunter, associate professor of exercise science, College of Health Sciences; Dr. Daniel Meissner, associate professor of history, Klingler College of Arts and Sciences; and Dr. Terence Ow, associate professor of management, College of Business Administration; received the John P. Raynor, S.J., Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence. Dr. John Su, professor of English and director of the Core of Common Studies, received the Robert and Mary Gettel Award for Teaching Excellence at the celebration.

Hunter represents the very best of the teacher-scholar model. In addition to being a Teaching Excellence Award winner this year, she also received the 2014-15 Way Klingler Fellowship in the sciences for her work on reversing the effects of Type 2 diabetes. Hunter's commitment to both teaching and scholarship is evident both inside and outside of the classroom. "I see research as teaching; I see little distinction between the two," Hunter said. "We take students under our wings for four years and then let them loose on the world to make a difference."

Meissner, associate professor of history, is an expert on East Asian civilization who teaches surveys and seminars focused on promoting cross-cultural awareness and understanding. Dr. Meissner received a Fulbright Award to teach in China during the 2011-12 academic year, which prompted him to deepen students' educational experiences by developing two separate summer study abroad courses in China for undergraduates. Meissner, who explores with his first-year students questions of fate and destiny, addressed his fellow faculty, saying, "We are destined to work at Marquette University to attain a common goal: to teach, train and mold young men and women."

Ow regularly teaches an introductory course that is critical for undergraduates, as it can often set students on a positive trajectory. Students appreciate Ow's use of the Socratic method and his high expectations because they push them to perform at a higher level. Ow holds himself to the same high expectations he holds his students to, challenging himself to be as relevant as possible in the dynamic area of technology. "Students will quickly rise to the high expectation of a course if the professor provides the example," Ow said.

Su is known to be one of the most popular professors in his department, and one of the most challenging. As director of the Core of Common Studies, Su has worked to refine assessment procedures and ready the university for an extensive program review. He has developed and taught more than 20 courses while at Marquette, which is highly unusual. In his remarks, Su specifically thanked the Jesuit community and its contributions to the university's social justice traditions. "We don't just teach critical thinking," Su said, "but critical thinking toward a specific end inclined toward justice."

On this evening reserved for recognizing the accomplishments of faculty teacher-scholars, Interim President Robert A. Wild, S.J., expressed how pleased he was that Marquette's recent reaffirmation of accreditation report from the Higher Learning Commission described Marquette as "a mission-driven university ... with a strong faculty that 'lives' the mission and helps 'guide and shape' students for their roles in society." Said Wild, "Really, almost everyone here tonight plays an essential role in the great work that is at the core of our mission — transforming the lives of our students and guiding them in their embrace of new knowledge, and in their growth and formation as adult members of our human family."

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