Five University of Iowa faculty members—Dawn Barker Anderson, Loyce Arthur, Megan Knight, Emily Mozena, and Rachel Young—were named recipients of the Hubbard-Walder Award for Excellence in Teaching.
The award, which was presented for the first time in 2021, is given to UI faculty who have participated in a variety of university teaching (undergraduate, graduate, or professional; classroom, one-on-one) and have contributed to curriculum and/or program development. Each recipient has a minimum of six years’ teaching experience at Iowa and will receive a $1,000 honorarium.
Dawn Barker Anderson
Anderson is a professor of legal analysis, writing, and research (LAWR) in the College of Law. She consistently innovates in her courses and, as chair of the Learning Outcome and Curricular Innovation Committee, advocates for other faculty to do the same. As a core member of the LAWR faculty, Anderson helps make Iowa’s unique vision for legal education as “the writing law school” a reality. Three years ago, she became director of the College of Law’s Writing and Academic Success Center. She reimagined and expanded the academic success curriculum at the College of Law. She also expanded the College of Law’s Writing Center, where students receive writing assistance and feedback. She created a new course to teach upper-level students how to be peer writing tutors. Anderson’s work has significantly enriched teaching and student success in the college.
Arthur is an associate professor in the Department of Theatre Arts, with a focus on costume design and technology, mask and puppet creation, and makeup design. Over the course of her 25 years at Iowa, she has mentored more than 40 Master of Fine Arts candidates in costume design through more than 360 productions during her career. Her students have gone on to have successful careers in Broadway, regional theaters, TV, and film. Arthur’s contributions have allowed Iowa to become a destination city for the arts, and she has been invited to share her expertise at institutions across the country. Arthur created Action Engage Art! Creative Placemaking, a course in partnership with the School of Planning and Public Affairs. That course led to the creation of Iowa’s certificate in Social Justice and Performing Arts—a cross-disciplinary enterprise between the departments of Dance; Theatre Arts; Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies; and the School of Music. This certificate was launched in 2023 and would not have been possible without Arthur’s leadership and vision.
Knight is an associate professor of instruction in the Department of Rhetoric. For 25 years, Knight has taught, tutored, and mentored undergraduate and graduate students in the department. In addition to teaching core general education rhetoric courses, she offers graduate courses in pedagogy and scholarly writing, and frequently serves as a leader in the department’s Professional Development Program, which prepares graduate instructors for teaching rhetoric. She serves as assistant director and co-instructor of the Honors Writing Fellows Program, providing training and preparation for the program’s peer writing tutors. Thousands of students in all forms of writing have learned from her. She has helped international students navigate a new academic and cultural environment, first-year students transition to college, and doctorate students make progress on dissertations. Her emphasis on one-on-one writing instruction is one reason why the University of Iowa is the top public university for writing and communication.
Mozena is an associate professor of instruction in the Department of Health and Human Physiology. She is the director of undergraduate studies of the BS in Therapeutic Recreation program, director of graduate studies of the MS graduate program in Child Life, and director of the honors program in Therapeutic Recreation. Mozena has used her clinical and professional experiences to inform her teaching of the importance of play and how to use it as a coping technique for children in various settings. Mozena has been crucial in evolving the Therapeutic Recreation and Child Life curriculum over the past decade, having created and revised most of the courses in the Child Life program. She was instrumental in transitioning Child Life curriculum to a graduate program in 2015. Mozena’s close working relationship with professionals at the UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital, the Iowa City Ronald McDonald House, and the adolescent and young adult cancer programs have been critical in providing UI students with experiences needed to find positions at some of the best hospitals in the country.
Young is an associate professor and director of undergraduate studies in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication (SJMC). Young’s work, which includes revising curriculum to create a more inclusive learning environment, has been vital to the SJMC. Young focuses on community-engaged teaching and learning, which has resulted in students having a real-world impact—including a campaign that led to the passage of a hotel occupancy tax in Washington County and a comprehensive bike safety campaign for Sioux City, Iowa. These successes come from her ability to push students to understand and connect with community partners to apply what they’ve learned to real communication problems. In 2017, Young proposed a new course, Community Media, which allows students to study identity in communities and explore major fault lines, biases, and privileges in contemporary life as well as stereotypes that show up in media coverage. In 2021, Young launched the Coralville Media Collaborative, which connects SJMC students and classes with community organizations such as the Coralville Community Food Pantry and the Coralville Public Library. The goal of the collaborative is to help students learn professional media skills while supporting local work in Coralville.