Beloit College Magazine

Beloit College Magazine

Summer 2015 (July 21, 2015 at 6:00 am)

Underkofler and Kang Prizes Awarded


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July 13, 2015 at 1:04 pm

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Jill Budny (political science) accepts the Underkofler Award on campus last April. The teaching honor is based on student nominations. Photo by Trevor Johnson’08

In April, visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science Jill Budny received the 2015 James R. Underkofler Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award, Beloit’s highest teaching honor. The prize, awarded at a faculty/staff recognition event, is sponsored by Alliant Energy and named for the company’s longtime CEO. Nominations come directly from students.

At the recognition event, Provost Ann Davies described Budny as a “brilliant and highly organized teacher.” Student nominations noted how she makes political philosophy apply regardless of their academic major and encourages them to think independently. “She strives to help students form their own reasoned interpretations instead of accepting others,” one student wrote.

Two staffers also received the Phee Boon Kang’73 Prize for Innovation in Teaching with Technology for their proposal to expand the library’s media production hardware and software tools for students. Lisa Viezbicke, director of the library and archives, and Melissa Dix, Web and new media director, received the prize for their plans to acquire and set up a sound-isolating vocal booth for the library’s Innovation Space and Learning Studio. Students will be able to use this technology as they develop digital storytelling projects. The Kang Prize was established in 1997 by Phee Boon Kang’73, a member of Beloit’s board of trustees.

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