University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Professor Regan A. R. Gurung, (Human Development and Psychology) was formally recognized Thursday (November 19), as the Wisconsin Professor of the Year.
The recognition came from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching at an event in Washington, D.C. The award honors undergraduate teachers who excel as educators and influence the lives and careers of their students.
A member of the UW-Green Bay faculty since 1999, Gurung is well known for knowing each of his students by name, even in classes held in large lecture halls. He also is highly involved in independent projects with students and provides a number of opportunities for student research. Some of these efforts have led to undergraduate student presentations at regional and national conferences.
Gurung takes the “craft” of teaching seriously. He co-directs UW-Green Bay’s Teaching Scholars program, which works with both new and tenured faculty in a yearlong program to improve teaching and research that can potentially be published and shared with others. He serves on the UW System Office of Professional and Instructional Development Executive Committee that works to improve teaching across the entire UW System.
He has published extensively in areas of teaching and pedagogy. He has edited books, including Exploring Signature Pedagogies: Approaches to Teaching Disciplinary Habits of Mind and Getting Culture: Incorporating Diversity Across the Curriculum, along with numerous journal articles on teaching and pedagogy research. He has also authored a major text on health psychology titled Health Psychology: A Cultural Approach.
Gurung received “fellow” designation from the American Psychological Association in 2008. The University’s Founders Association recognized him twice, in 2007 as the University’s best in scholarship, and in 2004 as its best in teaching.
Colleagues and students talk about Regan Gurung and his teaching.
“Regan is a model colleague and a model teacher, a model university citizen. It’s amazing to those of us who work with him the way that he is able to engage his students to get them excited about the things that they’re learning, but also to bring his scholarship and his dedication to the community and to the classroom.”
“He pretty much blows our mind everyday. He’ll talk about things we’ve never even thought about and tries to get us to think about different angles to why things work and how things happen.”
“It’s just a really relaxed setting. And he just makes learning fun and talks about so many different topics it doesn’t even have to be related to the class, just whatever we really want to.”
“The way he connects with his students is just on a different level. He connects to them personally, academically. He really begins to understand how his students think, individually. When he has them for a semester, he watches their progress and he truly cares about how they develop as students, not only in the content of his class but in their other classes as well.”
“He really knows how to get us engaged, whereas some other professors like to say their thing and then send you on your way. And they like to keep what they’re teaching in the classroom and really don’t expand upon it at all, whereas Dr. Gurung takes his class and applies it to every aspect of your life.”
“He always has the students in his heart and in his mind when he teaches. He prepares exciting and engaging activities for students every single class period. So, students go to class. They never skip because they never know what he is going to say or do.”
“He just keeps us involved out of class too, while in class. He keeps us right in the class all the time.”
“I don’t think there’s any other class where I actually after class go out and talk about it. Like this class is actually interesting to me, and I want to discuss it even further even after class is over.”
“He helped me pick my classes way back months ago. And when I went to his class, he still remembered me. He always e-mails everyone and checks up on them to make sure everything is going okay.”
“Anything related to the topic and anything that you say, he’ll go off that. He’ll just keep going and make us think even harder.”
“He makes you feel good. Like what you’re saying actually matters, and you’re smart.”
“He’s always open to us coming up to his office and talking to him. He’s sincere and actually cares about how all of us are doing on a daily basis.”
“This is my favorite class. He seems so enthusiastic about teaching it, and he’s involved with us.”
“He’s just a guy who you can really tell he loves what he does and he just loves life. He’s just a good guy.”
“I was in an Intro to Psych class with Dr. Gurung, and there were about 250 people in my lecture. At the beginning of the week he had us all put out our names and by the end of the week, he knew everybody in the room. I’ve guess I’ve never had a professor like that who got to know everyone in a class, especially a large lecture hall with 250 people. And that’s why I think Dr. Gurung is a great professor.”