Four University of Iowa faculty members have received the 2020 President and Provost Award for Teaching Excellence in recognition of their years of outstanding teaching. The recipients are: Nancy Abram, associate professor of practice in the Tippie College of Business Department of Marketing; Stella Burch Elias, professor and Chancellor William Gardiner Hammond Fellow in Law; Julia Kleinschmit, clinical associate professor in the School of Social Work in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; and Suresh M.L. Raghavan, professor of biomedical engineering in the College of Engineering.
The award, which is administered by the UI Council on Teaching, was created in 2004 as a university-wide recognition for faculty members who have demonstrated a sustained, high level of teaching excellence.
Nancy Abram, associate professor of practice in the Tippie College of Business Department of Marketing, has taught both at the undergraduate level and in the MBA program. She regularly delivers the large Introduction to Marketing Strategy course, for which she was the first to develop an online format. She was instrumental in a major restructuring of the department’s undergraduate program curriculum. Passionate about mentoring for career preparation, she works actively to promote and enable student participation in co-curricular activities such as professional trips and workshops. She further supports undergraduate student success through her role on the collegiate Teaching and Learning Committee, as faculty advisor for two student organizations, and as a mentor for the Women in Business student organization. She received the department’s Wendell A. Smith Teaching Award in 2016-17, was selected Faculty of the Year by the collegiate Student Senate in 2017-18, and received the Collegiate Teaching Award in 2018-19.
Stella Burch Elias, professor and Chancellor William Gardiner Hammond Fellow in Law in the College of Law, teaches large-enrollment core law courses such as Civil Procedure, in which she uses innovative approaches to teach students both foundational legal doctrine and how to think critically about the law and to promote access to justice for all. She also teaches upper-level courses on complex topics, such as her seminar Advanced Immigration Law and Policy, for which she created a curriculum that enables students to make a real-world difference by working on legal policy matters for community clients. She directs the college’s London study abroad program and was critical to its reconceptualization as a two-week winter session program, which is now among the college’s most sought-after learning opportunities. A dedicated mentor and advisor, she prioritizes building meaningful relationships with her students in order to support their success. She received the university’s James N. Murray Faculty Award in 2015 and the Collegiate Teaching Award in 2018.
Julia Kleinschmit, clinical associate professor in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences’ School of Social Work, has served as coordinator of the Sioux City Part-Time Master of Social Work (MSW) program since 1999. She directed the MSW program from 2015 to 2018, overseeing four sites across the state, and in 2017 she led the development of the university’s online MSW program, which launched in 2018 with her as coordinator. In order to serve students who are primarily adult learners with families and full-time jobs, Kleinschmit has pioneered innovative teaching solutions involving online and flipped hybrid courses, as well as ways of connecting students around the state with one another. She also has personally mentored more than 130 individual student projects. She is nationally recognized for her work with rural communities and the use of technology to serve geographically committed students, and has become a national leader in the development of high-quality online programming for social work education.
Suresh M.L. Raghavan, professor of biomedical engineering in the College of Engineering, teaches courses to all levels of engineering students. Student feedback speaks to his highly effective teaching style and his emphasis on deeper understanding of concepts. He also provides research opportunities and mentoring to students and medical fellows in his research lab, including for a large number of undergraduate students, many of whom have gone on to attend graduate school and pursue research careers. Deeply committed to students’ career success, he works diligently to establish and maintain industry relationships that continue to provide students with development opportunities. As an active leader in the American Society of Mechanical Engineering Bioengineering Division, Raghavan has promoted student success at the national level through his efforts to introduce innovative programs that provide undergraduate and graduate engineering students across the country with valuable career exploration activities and connect employers with students. He is actively engaged with the Fulbright community in the state of Iowa.