Four University of Iowa faculty members will receive the 2020 President and Provost Award for Teaching Excellence in recognition of their years of outstanding teaching. The recipients are Elizabeth Oakes, associate professor of instruction in the School of Music; Lisa Segre, associate professor in the College of Nursing; Mary Noonan, associate professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminology; and Madeline Shea, professor of biochemistry in the Department of Biochemistry.
The award, which is administered by the UI Council on Teaching, was created in 2004 to recognize faculty members who have demonstrated a sustained, high level of teaching excellence.
Oakes is a violist and an active chamber musician, teacher, and performer. She is part of the UI String Quartet Residency Program. For 22 years, Oakes served as the violist of the Maia Quartet and as a member of the quartet performed throughout the United States, Asia, Canada, and Europe and concertized in major venues including Alice Tully Hall; Merkin Hall; the 92nd Street Y; and Washington, D.C.’s Kennedy Center. During her time at Iowa, she has coordinated several large events, including Scandinavian/NordicFest, a monthlong festival with chamber music at the heart of each event. Oakes also partnered with the UI music therapy program to present music, health care, and well-being programming focused on the relationship between music and health. She has been the recipient of numerous grants from major granting organizations. In 2016, Oakes received the Dean’s Distinguished Lecturer Award, a two-year award given to a lecturer who excels in teaching in addition to their other professional and service contributions. Oakes is a graduate of Oberlin Conservatory, where she received a Bachelor of Music degree in viola performance and a Master of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music.
Segre is an associate professor in the College of Nursing and teaches human development and behavior, a large, required course for nursing students and students with interests in nursing. Segre draws on her experience as a student at a small liberal arts college to create a sense of community in the classroom and engage students with lively activities and video demonstrations of key concepts. Her impact as an educator has been felt by 13,000 students over 35 years. In the College of Nursing, she has served as chair of the Council on Student Affairs for six years, overseeing 14 student-related subcommittees on admission and progression. As coordinator of undergraduate research, she championed and significantly expanded undergraduate student research opportunities by instituting a formal process for matching undergraduates interested in research with faculty mentors. She recently completed a term as president of the International Marcé Society for Perinatal Mental Health, an interdisciplinary organization with about 800 members worldwide. As president, she collaborated with a student member to establish the society’s first formal young researcher mentoring program.
Noonan is an associate professor and director of undergraduate studies in the Department of Sociology and Criminology. She has a special talent for teaching quantitative and statistical analysis, and students who approach this topic with trepidation attest to her making them feel comfortable to deploy it in their own work. Noonan’s primary research interests include gender, work, family, and quantitative research methods. One of her current projects explores the timing of childbirth on earning growth among female lawyers, while another project focuses on the relative impact of transitions into and out of marriage and employment on women’s poverty. Noonan teaches courses on gender inequality, family, and research methods. Additionally, she provides study abroad programs for two of her courses that take place in Mexico and India.
Shea is a professor in the Department of Biochemistry, having joined the UI faculty in 1989. She has had an immeasurable impact on the undergraduate, graduate, and medical students she has taught. She introduced electronic classrooms and hands-on data analysis into the graduate biophysical chemistry curriculum and created a course to develop critical-thinking skills for biochemistry majors. She has mentored many graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in her laboratory and field, and has supervised more than 70 undergraduates in research, most for multiyear projects, with many contributing to peer-reviewed articles or conference presentations. She is the founding director of the FUTURE in Biomedicine program: Fostering Undergraduate Talent—Uniting Research and Education. The program pairs professors and students from primarily undergraduate colleges in Iowa with UI faculty to develop new research collaborations. Shea was recognized with the ICRU Distinguished Mentor Award in 2014, the Emily M. Gray Award for Contributions to Education from the Biophysical Society in 2018, and the Carver College of Medicine Teaching Award in 2020.