LSBE's Exemplary Educators

2011 Morse Awards
July 15, 2013

Providing an exceptional learning experience through the highest caliber of faculty continues to be one of LSBE's goals. Effective teaching is a hallmark of LSBE faculty and it is no wonder that that several of them have received the Horace T. Morse-University of Minnesota Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education.

Providing an exceptional learning experience through the highest caliber of faculty continues to be one of LSBE's goals. Effective teaching is a hallmark of LSBE faculty and it is no wonder that that several of them have received the Horace T. Morse-University of Minnesota Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education. This award recognizes exceptional teachers who are nominated by their college in a quest to identify undergraduate education excellence.

Since the award's inception in 1965, 36 faculty have received the award at UMD with eight of those being from LSBE.

"Having these many Morse-Alumni Distinguished Teachers in our school is an indicator of the quality of undergraduate education in LSBE," said LSBE Associate Dean Praveen Aggarwal and 2007 Morse award recipient. "Our faculty take their teaching responsibilities very seriously and do an outstanding job creating a meaningful learning experience for our students."

LSBE's strong commitment to providing exemplary education begins with hiring instructors who meet stringent requirements.

"It starts at the selection and hiring process," said Maureen O'Brien, Chair of LSBE's Economics Department and 1989 Morse award recipient. "It takes a commitment and effort to teach undergraduates. LSBE's administration embraces an environment that allows the development of these outstanding educators. Teaching is honored and respected here. Our educators go above and beyond, both in and out of the classroom. We have many potential award winners in LSBE."

Morse award nominees are evaluated on specific evidence of outstanding performance in one or more of these five categories: Teaching, Advising, Research and Artistic Activities, Academic Program Development, and Educational Leadership. This evidence includes a dossier of significant information, which takes considerable time and effort to assemble.

"Compiling the documentation necessary to even be considered for this award is a fairly daunting task," said Curt Anderson, Center for Economic Education Director and 1986 Morse award recipient. "It helped me so much that students had already written to me personally about their experiences in my classes and allowed me to include those in the documentation. It is those personal notes then and now that are the REAL teaching award."

The nominees' documentation is provided to the selection committee; a group of approximately 11 people from across the U of M campuses, including several prior awardees and alumni.

Since the Morse-Alumni Award is only bestowed upon the most exemplary of educators, actually being selected can be quite the surprise.

"When they called and told me I had won, I made them repeat my name to make sure they hadn't called the wrong person," said Steve Castleberry, Chair of LSBE's Marketing Department and 2009 Morse award recipient. "I felt so undeserving, given the host of incredible teachers in LSBE and UMD, all of whom I have learned from."

"I think the Morse award is a tangible reflection of the university's absolute commitment to excellence in undergraduate education, and I am humbled to have been chosen as one of its recipients," Castleberry added. "Students, and of course employers, are the ultimate beneficiaries of this drive for excellence in instruction."

Recipients of the Morse-Alumni Award become members of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers and are conferred with the title "Distinguished University Teaching Professor" or "Distinguished University Teacher."

The Morse award is made possible through the generous support of the Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, and the University of Minnesota Alumni Association.

In addition to honoring individual faculty members, the award contributes to the improvement of undergraduate education at the University by publicizing the recipients' work as a resource for the whole faculty.

A full list of all of UMD's Morse award winners is available here.