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News & Press: Conventions

2018 Distinguished Teaching Award Recipient

Wednesday, February 21, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Christina Yoshimura
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By J. Jacob Jenkins, Committee Chair

The Western States Communication Association Distinguished Teaching Award guidelines require that recipients demonstrate teaching that rises above the fray to a sustained performance of excellence. Recipients should incite intellectual curiosity in their students, inspire their departmental colleagues, and draw clear connections between academe and the world writ large.

The 2018 recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award, Dr. Matthew Sanders (Utah State University), was clearly evidenced as this kind of outstanding teacher in a number of different ways.  Dr. Sanders’ teaching philosophy was powerful, his letters of nomination were stirring, and his student evaluations were exemplary.  Yet, it may be a quote from one of Dr. Sanders’ colleagues – Dr. Kristina Scharp – says it best of all.  She writes:

 “Matthew not only cares deeply about who a student is, but also about who that student is becoming. I have never met an educator whose corpus of teaching, research, and translational work has had a bigger influence in fundamentally changing why a student believes he or she is at college in the first place.”

Dr. Sanders is the type of teacher who clearly cares about his students, deeply and genuinely, both in and out of the classroom. For his connections to students, colleagues, and to the discipline, Dr. Sanders is more than deserving of this year’s Distinguished Teaching Award.


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