L&S Honors Program honors seven distinguished faculty

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[caption id="attachment_7234" align="alignright" width="463" caption="From left: Gary Weismer, Jack Mitchell, Susan Horwitz, Catherine Middlecamp, Bryan Hendricks, and Edward Friedman (not pictured William Cronon)."][/caption]

The L&S Honors Program held its Second Annual Distinguished Honors Faculty Award program to recognize seven faculty members for their contributions to the Honors Program.

All were nominated by students and their contributions to enriching the undergraduate educational experience at Wisconsin have been enormous.

The nominees are William Cronon, Edward Friedman, Bryan Hendricks, Susan B. Horwitz, Jack W.  Mitchell, Catherine Middlecamp and Gary Weismer.  Congratulations to all!

For more information about the recipients:

William Cronon (1976, English and History, Professor of History and Environmental Studies)

Bill served as Director of the L&S Honors program from 1996-1998 and developed the three current Honors Tracks- Honors in the Liberal Arts, Honors in the Major and Comprehensive Honors. He developed the first residential learning community on campus at Chadbourne and started the Pathways to Excellence program as an umbrella group to encompass a variety of high impact practices to improve undergraduate education. He is an outstanding teacher inspiring his students, helping them think about the environment in new ways and developing their own work to high standards. He previously received the Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award.

Edward Friedman (Professor of Political Science)

Ed received the Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award and has taught ten honors courses over the past decade. His student nominator wrote, “Prior to taking Professor Friedman’s course I had no interest in visiting or learning about Chinese culture… However after several discussion sessions I was hooked…[he] made me (and others in the class) desperately want to go to China and experience its culture for ourselves… [He] is open to debate and any or all questions from students adopting the attitude that by the end of the course, the students know as much as he does. This summer I will be traveling to China for two months … and I wouldn’t have even looked into it if not for Professor Friedman sparking this interest.”

Bryan Hendricks (Senior Lecturer Psychology)

Bryan gave up a tenured professorship and took a pay cut to teach full time at UW Madison. He has become a favorite among undergraduates for his humane teaching of the toughest courses. He has taught Honors Introductory Psychology and Honors Statistics. He taught an Honors Introductory Psychology course for the Summer Collegiate Experience Program and served as the Academic Director for a National Science Foundation funded program to bring underrepresented students to Madison to gain research skills and experience in Psychology. His nominator wrote: “I have never come across someone so dedicated to his students in all my years of school. Bryan obviously loves teaching and his passion for Psychology comes through even in an introductory, math-based class like statistics. Bryan has inspired me to go into Psychology or at least find a job that makes such a positive impact on others.”

Susan B. Horwitz (Professor of Computer Science)

Susan has been involved for the past seven years with the Wisconsin Emerging Scholars Program. Initially funded by Microsoft and subsequently by the National Science Foundation, the program uses active recruiting to attract top students to careers in Computer Science with an emphasis on underrepresented groups. More than 50 percent of the students are women and the retention rate, through cooperative team learning, has been much higher than the norm. Her nominator wrote: “Dr. Horwitz is not only an excellent advisor guiding me to develop valuable research skills and strong interests in Computer Science, but she is also a trustworthy individual offering me generous support. Compared with all other professors I have worked with Dr. Horwitz is essential to my growth in college... She is a dedicated methodical, capable and generous educator…whom I will always hold in highest esteem.”

Jack W. Mitchell (Professor of Journalism)

Jack was the first employee of National Public Radio and developed the program “All Things Considered” which celebrated its 40th anniversary this year. He was Director of Wisconsin Public Radio for 21 years creating 20 stations throughout the state with two networks. He received the Edward R. Murrow Award, the highest accolade in public broadcasting. Jack has been teaching at the School of Journalism since 1998. His nominator wrote: “I have never before had a professor who has pushed me so hard to improve my writing and to take an interest in the course material… Professor Mitchell went above and beyond to make sure students in our [Honors] discussion thought critically about the issues … and allowed us to further explore topics that might branch out from the planned course material... Overall I cannot express enough how significantly Mitchell’s guidance has helped me as a student and how his special care for his honors students made an impact on each of our academic careers.”

Catherine Middlecamp (Associate Professor Nelson Institute and Integrated Liberal Studies)

Cathy has received the Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Excellence Award, a UW System teaching award, the Judith Craig Award for Distinguished Service to the College of Letters & Science and the Dreyfus Award for Encouraging Women into Careers in Chemical Science. She is Editor in Chief of the 7th and 8th editions of Chemistry in Action. Her nominator wrote: “A truly outstanding Letters and Science Honors Program faculty member embodies the spirit of a liberal arts education and fosters an environment in which each student is enabled to understand his or her educational experience. Professor Middlecamp stands among the very best of Honors faculty. [Her] deep commitment to leadership development, to encouraging self-reflection, and to promoting critical thinking inspired me so greatly that I requested to work with her … I am delving deeper into research on liberal arts educational philosophy and will conclude with an essay on what I believe liberal arts education will look like twenty-five years from now.”

Gary G. Weismer (Oros Bascom Professor of Communicative Disorders)

Gary’s nominator was a first year student who discovered that she was the only student in his Honors discussion section. Rather than cancel the section, Gary worked closely with the student who wrote “He has created an informal setting where I feel comfortable asking questions about what I don’t understand…he encourages me by pointing out that I am thinking critically. I have been pushed further in my understanding of course material through these extra meetings... Every week when I leave I continue to think about the things we have talked about and usually share some of the information I have learned with my friends… I was terrified [when I learned I was the only student in the section] but this experience has turned out to be one of the best opportunities the University has offered me thus far…I know I have been given a unique experience through the Honors Program.