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University of Iowa News Release


March 14, 2007

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Three UI Faculty Win Top Teaching Award

Three University of Iowa faculty members have won the 2007 President and Provost Award For Teaching Excellence in recognition of their years of outstanding teaching.  The recipients are: Craig Kletzing, professor of physics and astronomy in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; George Lawry, professor of internal medicine (rheumatology) in the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine; and Edward Thompson, clinical professor in the College of Nursing with a joint appointment in the Carver College of Medicine.

The award, which is administered by the UI 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 may nominate up to three faculty members for the award, which carries a $3,000 prize. Nominees submit a statement of their teaching philosophy along with a resume 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.

Kletzing has taught in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences since 1996, and currently serves on the CLAS Executive Committee. He received a UI Collegiate Teaching Award in 2006. Kletzing's colleagues recognize him as a progressive and innovative instructor who works actively to keep abreast of cutting-edge teaching methods and theories, and uses them successfully in his own teaching of introductory physics.

Students appreciate both Kletzing's talent in the classroom -- where he is especially skilled at demonstrating difficult physical concepts -- and his commitment as a mentor. Extremely effective at incorporating undergraduate and graduate students into his research program (which involves building instruments that make scientific measurements on both
rockets and satellites), Kletzing teaches students not just about physics, but also about how to succeed as practicing scientists.

In the process, students say, Kletzing infects them with his enthusiasm for the subject matter, for the practice of science and for teaching, which serves them well because many go on to pursue advanced careers in physics and astronomy. Says one such student, "The experiences I
received through ... daily interactions (with Professor Kletzing) have been invaluable to my education as a scientist."

Lawry has taught in the Carver College of Medicine since 1993. During that time, he has established a record of teaching excellence that, according to one colleague, "sets the standard for the College of Medicine."  He has been elected "Teacher of the Year" by the second-year medical student class eight times, by the third-year class twice, by the fourth-year class five times, and by the internal medicine residents three times. 

Lawry received a Collegiate Teaching Award in 1996. In addition to being an extremely popular and effective lecturer and clinical mentor at Iowa, Lawry is committed to improving medical practice nationwide. He is developing a three-part, interactive instructional program to help learners -- from first-year medical students to practicing physicians -- develop better musculoskeletal examination skills, and part of that program has already been incorporated into the leading rheumatology textbook. 

Lawry also serves as co-chair of a national organization charged with ensuring that a standardized curriculum in musculoskeletal medicine is being delivered in 100% of allopathic medical colleges by 2011. Students describe him as energetic, generous with time and feedback, deeply compassionate, "truly a role model," and "the epitome of teaching excellence."

Thompson has taught in the College of Nursing and the Carver College of Medicine since 1998, while also serving as director of the Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN) anesthesia program. Under his leadership, the program has become recognized as one of the premier nurse anesthesia programs in the country. 

Thompson has advanced nursing education nationally by serving as a member the American Association of Colleges of Nursing task force working to develop a Doctorate in Nursing Practice, a terminal practice degree in nursing, and he is bringing that national perspective to the development of such a program at Iowa.  Thompson, who received the Collegiate Teaching Award in 1993, is known for setting high standards and challenging students to "be the best they can be."

To date, Thompson has guided almost 300 students to become nurse anesthetists, and all have passed their certification exam on the first try and with highly competitive scores. Many have garnered regional and national awards for their clinical research projects and writing. Colleagues say Thompson is equally effective in the classroom and clinical settings, and that he is as enthusiastic a mentor to junior faculty as he is to students. "It is because of him," says one former student, "that I can be proud of the University of Iowa, proud of my education, and still want to achieve more." 

For more information on the Council on Teaching and its award programs, see:

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

CONTACTS: Media: Kris Yows, 319-335-3566, Program: Mark Young, Council on Teaching, 319-335-2099,