Excellence in Teaching: 2015 Kemper Award Winners Bauer, Goedereis, Davis, Jensen

| May 15, 2015
Webster University Provost Julian Schuster and Vice Provost Nancy Hellerud with the 2015 William T. Kemper Award for Excellence in Teaching recipients Wayne Davis, Glen Bauer and Gina Jensen. (Not pictured, Eric Goedereis)

Webster University Provost Julian Schuster and Vice Provost Nancy Hellerud with the 2015 William T. Kemper Award for Excellence in Teaching recipients Wayne Davis, Glen Bauer and Gina Jensen. (Not pictured: Eric Goedereis, who was teaching in Vienna)

The William T. Kemper Award for Excellence in Teaching is awarded each year to two full-time and two part-time faculty members at Webster University who demonstrate teaching at its finest. Nominated and supported by students and colleagues, they are selected by a committee of their peers for their outstanding teaching. The award is funded by the William T. Kemper Foundation.

This year’s full-time faculty recipients are Glen Bauer, professor in the Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts’ Department of Music, and Eric Goedereis, assistant professor in the College of Arts & Sciences’ Department of Psychology. Part-time faculty recipients are Wayne Davis, adjunct professor in the George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology’s Department of Management, and Gina Jensen, adjunct professor in the School of Communication’s Communications & Journalism Department.

Glen Bauer: A Tone of Excellence

Bauer sets a tone of excellence and expectation for both faculty and students, or as he puts it: “endeavors to guide students down a path towards the goal of wisdom no matter how distant or unattainable.” Glen encourages his students to become their own teachers, to develop their own “toolbox,” which will serve them them regardless of their paths in life.

One nominator describes him as “an extraordinary teacher and a great humanist” who “possesses not only a great knowledge of music, but also of visual arts, literature, languages and philosophy.”

Eric Goedereis: Passion for Teaching

Goedereis encourages his students to approach the joy of learning like an athlete or musician might approach a practice. His teaching methods go beyond merely communicating course material to the students—he teaches students to think critically, integrate key concepts across topics, and respect and discuss differences of opinion.

One colleague nominator commented of Goedereis: “He is so conscientious in his work and is such a gifted teacher. While he has done an excellent job building and guiding academic offerings in the Gerontology Program and fulfilling other administrative responsibilities, his deepest passion is teaching.”

Wayne Davis: Captivating Confidence

Davis, who instructs management and law courses, sums up his passion in one word: people. He believes that the goal of higher education should be to strike a balance between academia and real-world skill and application. By moving students out of their comfort zone, he propels them to be critical thinkers and effective problem solvers.

One student nominator describes Goedereis’ style: “He instructs the class in such a way that the students are captivated, and inspired to contribute.”

And as another student observed, his in-depth understanding of the subject matter allows him “the confidence to encourage questions and conversations” rather than sticking “to a predefined script.”

Gina Jensen: Coach-Educator

Jensen, who teaches Speech Communication Studies and also serves as assistant director of Webster’s Forensics and Debate program, describes her role as that of a “coach-educator.”

One of her many student nominators noted the “contagious and inspiring” nature of Gina’s “enthusiasm for forensics.” Another related how Gina “emphasizes real-world applications of the subjects she teaches, making the content relevant and meaningful for her students.”

But perhaps most indicative of her passion for teaching is expressed by a former student, who was a working mother in her mid-30’s when she returned to school and looked to Jensen as a mentor: “Helping me find my voice was the most precious gift Gina gave me. I wish I could say what [specifically] it is that she does that inspires students to succeed. All I can say is she makes me feel good about me.”

Each year Kemper Award recipients are honored at the annual commencement dinner and faculty/staff breakfast in St. Louis, as well as other events throughout the year that celebrate and share insights from their teaching approach.

Congratulations to this year’s winners!

Tags: , , , , , ,

Category: Faculty, Webster News

Comments are closed.