Soil science professor Teri Balser and dairy science professor Michel Wattiaux were in Washington D.C. last week to receive teaching awards from the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities. Balser receive APLU’s National Teaching Award. Wattiaux received the group’s Regional Teaching Award.
The APLGU’s cited Balser’s
“passion for learning with a devotion to teaching across a wide range of pursuits.” Balser teaches upper-level soil and honors biology as well as a large introductory environmental studies class and graduate seminars. She is working on an environmental studies textbook and is involved in a variety of efforts on campus and beyond to help college teachers improve their craft. She directs the UW–Madison Institute for Cross-College Biology Education and is a member of the UW-Madison Teaching Academy. She regularly delivers workshops on teaching and professional development and has sat on 36 grad student committees.
The APLU commended Wattiaux’s strong focus on experiential learning, noting that “his courses place students in the driver’s seat and he challenges them to think critically and from multiple perspectives. ” Wattiaux currently teaches a pre-capstone seminar, a dairy husbandry practicum and courses on ruminant nutrition, environmental impact of livestock managment, and an international agricultural seminar that includes a study tour in Mexico. He also co-teaches a grad-level course on learning theories and effective teaching strategies., and has presented at teaching conferences. and symposia.