2017 - Donald R. & Mary Lee Swanson Award for Teaching Excellence

The Swanson Award
Funded by a generous gift from Donald R. Swanson, this award honors exemplary teaching in the College of Education & Human Sciences and carries a $12,500 cash gift for the recipient.


Any full-time faculty member in the College of Education & Human Sciences is eligible to be nominated for the Swanson Award.

Nomination Process:

Anyone may nominate an eligible faculty member. Nominations may come from students, parents of students, alumni, education professionals or faculty colleagues. Self-nominations are not accepted.
Those nominated will be asked if they wish to be candidates for the award. If the faculty member agrees, the academic department will be asked to appoint one or more persons to assist the nominated faculty member with compiling the nomination file. Nomination files remain eligible for consideration for three consecutive years (the nominee has the option to update the file each year). At the end of three years, a one-year waiting period is required before the faculty member is eligible to be nominated again.

Nomination File:

The file may not exceed 40 pages (or the electronic/multimedia equivalent of 40 pages) and should include:

• Five letters of reference from current and former students, providing evidence directly related to the criteria.
• A narrative that describes the candidate’s efforts to teach in a manner consistent with the criteria. The narrative should address the criteria and refer to and interpret the other material contained in the file.
• Summaries of student evaluations of the nominee’s teaching and other forms of student feedback sought by the faculty member. Results from formal peer reviews of teaching may also be included. This evidence should be directly related to the criteria.
• Examples of products of the work of students that demonstrate that the candidate helps students to meet and exceed the student outcomes described in the criteria.
• Examples of teaching materials that demonstrate how the criteria are addressed.
• Evidence of efforts to continue to improve teaching performance in areas described in the criteria.
• Other information as appropriate.

Selection Criteria:

The central focus of the Swanson Award is the positive impact of teaching excellence on students. Accordingly, nomination files should emphasize student outcomes. Swanson Award recipients will have a demonstrated and sustained record of:

• Promoting thinking--challenging students to engage in critical and creative thinking, requiring reflection on course material, and helping students develop their own internalized meanings of course content.
• Teaching in a manner that encourages engaged, active, and continuous learning.
• Holding high standards for student performance and providing support and attention to all students in meeting these standards.
• Working to improve one’s teaching. Such activities might include collecting, reflecting upon, and using various forms of evaluative information about one’s work as a teacher; engaging in research and scholarly activity about teaching; or expanding one’s repertoire of teaching strategies and skills.

•    Amount: $12,500
•    Nominations due November 17, 2017
•    Submission of material due January 12, 2018
•    Selection process: CEHS Swanson Award Committee
      recommends nominee to the Vice Chancellors office
•    Must be uploaded in a continuous PDF or Word file  


Nomination Form