Four University of Iowa faculty members are recipients of the 2023 President and Provost Award for Teaching Excellence, recognizing their exceptional and ongoing contributions to student learning and success.
Established in 2004 by the UI Council on Teaching, the President and Provost Award for Teaching Excellence is the university’s highest honor for teaching. Each year, the council selects three clinical-track or tenure-track faculty members and one instructional-track or adjunct faculty member to receive the award.
This year's recipients are Mitchell Kelly, clinical professor of learning sciences and educational psychology in the College of Education; David Murhammer, professor of chemical and biochemical engineering in the College of Engineering; Lorie Reins-Schweer, professor of legal analysis, writing and research in the College of Law; and Joseph Yockey, David H. Vernon Professor of Law in the College of Law.
The four awardees embody the university's commitment to excellence in teaching and learning and serve as inspirational examples of the impact the UI faculty can have on their students.
Kelly has been a faculty member in the College of Education for more than 25 years, educating and influencing thousands of UI students along the way. He is widely recognized for his exceptional teaching skills, dedication to students, and innovative contributions to graduate education. Students consistently praise him as the best instructor they've ever had, and he is known for his passion for teaching and student learning. He is the director of the Office for Graduate Teaching Excellence, which offers a certificate program in college teaching, and he has received numerous awards and honors, including the College of Education Collegiate Teaching Award. He is an engaging and dynamic teacher who sets high expectations, encourages student participation, and forms strong relationships with his students. Kelly has played a significant role in curriculum development for graduate programs in the college, has led a First-Year Seminar, and has taught courses in India and Thailand.
Murhammer is a professor of chemical and biochemical engineering with more than 30 years of teaching experience. He has received numerous awards for his excellence in teaching, including the College of Engineering’s 2002 Collegiate Outstanding Teaching Award and multiple Excellence in Teaching and Dedication to Student Success awards within the college. The latter is given to one instructor each year based on a vote of the graduating class. Murhammer provides students with a multidimensional educational experience designed to prepare them for future employment by developing technical skills, communication, and teamwork. He integrates problem-solving sessions and hands-on learning opportunities into his courses to enhance student understanding. Murhammer is also an advisor to the UI American Institute of Chemical Engineers student chapter, which has won the Outstanding Student Chapter Award 29 of the past 30 years.
Reins-Schweer is an acclaimed educator with more than 14 years of teaching experience at the UI College of Law. With a diverse background in accounting, banking, and law, she brings a wealth of professional knowledge to her classroom. She is known for her innovative curriculum development, as evidenced by her creation of the Accounting, Tax, and Business Concepts for Lawyers course to bridge the gap between law school and professional practice. Her students praise her supportive and inclusive teaching style, and many credit her with their success in law school. She received the College of Law’s 2020 Collegiate Teaching Award and was co-recipient of the 2022 1stGen at Iowa Award for Outstanding First-Generation Student Advocacy. Reins-Schweer is a teacher's teacher, inspiring her colleagues to address issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in their own classrooms.
Yockey is the David H. Vernon Professor of Law at the UI College of Law, where he has been a faculty member since 2010. He is known for making complex legal concepts accessible and engaging, earning praise from students and creating high demand for his courses. Yockey previously earned the College of Law’s 2012 Collegiate Teaching Award and was co-recipient of the 2022 1stGen at Iowa Award for Outstanding First-Generation Student Advocacy. He prides himself on utilizing diverse teaching methods to reach students of differing learning styles and offers extensive office hours to provide personal guidance to his students. Students credit him with creating a challenging yet welcoming classroom environment, reinforcing key points through creative learning exercises and student-led sessions. He also co-founded First-Generation Lawyers, a student organization that provides first-gen law students with the network and resources needed to succeed in law school and the legal profession.