Photos, recap: Gurung, Education program accept top state honors

The UW System Board of Regents honored the state’s best college-level teachers Friday with presentation of the 2011 Regents Teaching Excellence Award at the June UW System Board of Regents meeting in Milwaukee. Prof. Regan A.R. Gurung of Human Development accepted an individual honor. The Professional Program in Education accepted “department of the year” honors, with program chair Timothy Kaufman present along with faculty colleagues Susan Cooper, Pao Lor and James Coates Jr. For photos and a full report, see the UW System news site.

Kaufman: Team effort benefits teachers of tomorrow

Prof. Timothy Kaufman accepted the Regents Teaching Excellence Award award and spoke on behalf of his Education colleagues. In doing so he made clear the program’s success comes from a team effort. He mentioned each of the program’s teachers by name — as well as the pre-kindergarten through grade 12 and other partners that help the department succeed. “Our vision and commitment in the Professional Program in Education is to produce the teachers of tomorrow — really the greatest profession in the world — professionals who are not only well-prepared but highly desired by schools and districts.”

Gurung paraphrases Lombardi in acceptance speech

When he honored Regan A.R. Gurung, the Ben J. and Joyce Rosenberg Professor of Human Development and Psychology at UW-Green Bay, Regent Jeff Bartell noted Gurung’s national reputation as both teacher and scholar. Gurung responded by referencing legendary Green Bay Packers Coach Vince Lombardi and his coaching philosophy. In some academic circles, Gurung said, taking pride in teaching is sometimes seen as secondary or even “collateral damage” to research pursuits. But the famous coach had it right when it comes to taking pride in oneself and one’s profession, Gurung said. “Lombardi advocated taking pride in what one did and doing it to the best of one’s capacity… To paraphrase Lombardi, ‘Teachers who can outline good pedagogy are a dime a dozen. The ones whose students learn, who get inside their students’ heads and motivate — motivate, not put stuff in there, but motivate them to learn…” those are the ones who make a difference.

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