The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

Richard G. Law Excellence Award applications open

Award meant to recognize outstanding undergrad teaching, applications open until March 19

Applications for WSU’s Richard G. Law Excellence Award for undergraduate teaching are now open through March 19th.

The award is given annually and serves to recognize outstanding undergraduate teaching in UCORE courses throughout the entire WSU system, said UCORE Director Ashley Boyd.

“It’s really meant to honor faculty who embody, well one, Richard Law, a former director of general education at WSU,” Boyd said. “It’s kind of in the spirit of his service to the University, but it’s also supposed to honor the spirit of a faculty member who really promotes the skills that are supposed to come from our general education classes.”

The Award has been presented to one member of the WSU facility annually since its creation in 2013, Boyd said. To apply for the award, faculty must have taught a UCORE course for three consecutive years.

The application process involves applicants proving they meet the Law Award criteria, typically through the submission of evidence like class syllabuses, assignment prompts or teaching evaluation, she said. Applicants also have to submit a personal statement, along with two to three letters of recommendation/support, either from colleagues or students that can corroborate their statement.

“We look for an emphasis on a student-centered classroom. And so making sure that students are actively engaged in the class, that they’re challenged, that they’re participating in the classroom,” Boyd said. “We also look at strong evaluations of the UCORE courses, the professor’s sort of ongoing professional development or them continuing to change a class based on student success and student feedback.”

The winner of the award is selected from the applicant pool by the Law Award Committee, Boyd said. When selecting a winner, the committee looks for skills like applicants participating in UCORE learning outcomes assessments, using technology innovatively in the classroom, and working with students in a way that’s particularly to their level, as UCORE courses span from 100 level to 400 Capstone classes.

Applications for the award are due on March 19th and the ability to apply is open to any facility across all the WSU campuses, as long as they meet the criteria, Boyd said.

“After March 19th, the committee will meet, go over applications, and select and notify the winner. [The winner] will be presented the award at the DASA awards ceremony on April 26th,” Boyd said.

2020 award winner Kate Watts, said these types of awards are a unique and special way to recognize the important work that goes into UCORE courses, and the effort being done in a student’s first or second year of school, when most students take UCORE courses.

“When I received the email from the awards committee, I’d actually just finished teaching class,” Watts said. “There was this wash of joy and pride and disbelief that they had picked me because I am amazed by the work that other UCORE professors do.”

Watts said winning the award in 2020 was a real boost to her confidence, as she feels the committee values the work that goes into UCORE, and valued the work she was doing.

“I can simply say I was grinning ear to ear when I received the email. I felt appreciated and seen,” Watts said.

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