Celebrating teaching excellence

May 17th 2017 | Megan Schmid
Awards, Faculty
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On May 16th, when many faculty and students are putting the semester behind them and looking toward summer, a community of dedicated faculty, staff, and administrators joined together to honor 18 Assistant Professors (listed below) graduating from the Madison Teaching and Learning Excellence (MTLE) program. The annual ceremony marked the completion of this two-semester mentorship program in teaching and learning that aims to improve student learning by helping early-career faculty become fast, efficient, effective, (and satisfied) starters in teaching.

What makes MTLE unique on campus is its extended, ongoing nature of professional development in teaching, which research demonstrates is critical for transformative growth and lasting change to teaching practice. Small cohorts of 8-10 assistant professors meet weekly to explore evidence-based teaching practices and receive support from a cross-disciplinary community of peers guided by teaching and learning experts. By investing this modest amount of time on teaching early in their careers, these faculty report increased satisfaction with their teaching, attest to having more time and energy to devote to research, outreach, and service, and believe their tenure cases are all the stronger. Moreover, many go on to become change agents for teaching and learning in their departments, schools and colleges, and on campus.  

Since the program’s inception in 2012, a diverse group of 86 assistant professors from eight schools and colleges and 51 departments have engaged in MTLE, impacting tens of thousands of undergraduate students. Their efforts exemplify what it means to scale impact to the classrooms of UW-Madison: “The ability to give students the tools to think about something that they already think they understand, from an entirely different perspective or an entirely new way, and to watch that happen – love doing that. It makes me feel like I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing as an educator” (MTLE Faculty Fellow).

“It is a pleasure to closely work with small groups of early-career faculty who are deeply committed to student learning,” notes Megan Schmid, MTLE Associate Director. “We are not only seeing immediate impacts in the classroom, but we are also noticing subtle shifts in culture in small pockets around campus.”  Schmid is joined by faculty Co-Directors Nick Balster (Soil Science) and Rosemary Russ (Curriculum and Instruction), and Assistant Director Chris Castro in running MTLE.

The next MTLE cohort will begin in late August – June 1st is the application deadline. If you would like to join this practicing community of teachers or if you would just like additional information on MTLE, please contact us or explore our website.

Madison Teaching and Learning Excellence Eta Cohort (L&S Recipients)

Learn more about the Eta Fellows.

Justin Vandenbroucke, Physics
Luke Zoet, Geoscience

Madison Teaching and Learning Excellence Theta Cohort (L&S Recipients)

Learn more about the Theta fellows.

Joe Austerweil, Psychology
Jacee Cho, English
Shaun Marcott, Geoscience
Revel Sims, Urban & Regional Planning
Erica Simmons, Political Science
Karen Schloss, Psychology

View all campus recipients here.