Previous Winners

The university is currently analyzing budget adjustments for the upcoming year. Funding for the 2017-18 Paul Weber Award for Departmental Excellence in Teaching is still under review and the application process is currently on hold.

If you would like to be notified of any updates in the application process, please contact John Whitney by email.


Department of Middle and Secondary Education/College of Education and Human Development: Jennifer Bay-Williams, Ph.D.

The fundamental mission of all programs and efforts in the Department of Middle and Secondary Education (MISE) is to prepare critical thinkers, problem solvers, and educational leaders who affirm principles of social justice and equity, in order to positively impact our communities and schools. Through our clinical model of teacher preparation, collaboration with UofL and school colleagues, and partnerships focused on equity and social justice, we are able to achieve excellence in teaching and learning. It is through the preparation of the strongest teachers and teacher leaders that we seek to contribute to the quality of life for all in our metropolitan community, the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and the nation. Access the winning Stage One [PDF] and Stage Two [PDF] application materials.


Department of Biology/College of Arts & Sciences: Ronald D. Fell, Ph.D.

The Biology faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences are actively engaged in the teaching mission of the Department, College of Arts & Sciences, and University. Enhanced student learning experiences are sought in every aspect of the Biology program, from advising to every class in the curriculum. Student learning outcomes and their assessment have become the motivating factors in the Department’s goal to enhance student learning experiences. Continued development of a curriculum assessment exam, course evaluations of analytical and writing skills, and the increased incorporation of evidence based learning strategies into the classroom are ongoing efforts to enhance student learning. Access the winning Stage One [PDF] and Stage Two [PDF] application materials.


Department of Pediatrics/School of Medicine: Kimberly Boland, MD

A core mission of the Department of Pediatrics is to excel in the education of future and current physicians across the developmental continuum of medical teaching. From rejuvenation of a medical student basic science course to application of innovative technology and adult learning theory in the residency program and a robust all-encompassing faculty development curriculum, the department strives to prepare the complete physician of tomorrow and enrich the pediatricians of today. These are just a few of the vibrant teaching activities that exemplify the unified, widespread commitment to education and reflective practice in the Department of Pediatrics. Access the winning Stage One [PDF] and Stage Two [PDF] application materials here.


Department of Pediatrics/School of Medicine: Aaron Calhoun, MD; Katherine Potter, MD

The Simulation for Pediatric Assessment, Resuscitation, and Communication Program is an interdisciplinary educational program that uses high-fidelity mannequins and standardized patients to teach pediatrics residents, nurses, respiratory therapists, and pharmacists the skills needed to deal with difficult clinical situations. All simulated interactions occur in the actual locations where the complementary real-life situation would occur. Foci of the program include crisis resource management, physiology, and doctor-family communication. Extensive debriefing with both verbal and written feedback is used to reinforce learning points. This program assists residents in bridging the gap between medical knowledge and clinical practice while forging interdisciplinary relationships.

Trover Campus/School of Medicine: William Crump, MD

The ultimate purpose of the University of Louisville School of Medicine Trover Campus in Madisonville (ULTC) is to place more graduating medical students in practice in small Kentucky towns. Dr. Bill Crump, Professor of Family Medicine and ULTC Associate Dean, has designed and over the last 10 years taught in the Trover Campus Rural Pathways, a series of programs that develop and support a cadre of pre-medical students from rural western Kentucky to be successful and choose medicine as a career. Dr. Crump's community-based team has achieved remarkable success, with 64% of rural ULTC graduates now practicing in rural Kentucky.

Department of Management and Entrepreneurship/College of Business: Sharon Kerrick, PhD

The UofL College of Business Entrepreneurship Minor (EM) was created in 2007. The minor consists of four undergraduate three-credit hour courses. The strategy and tactics for the Entrepreneurship Minor from inception have been student-centered education and collaboration with community entrepreneurs as well as other entities. EM serves to prepare students to maximize their potentials by exercising their entrepreneurial skills within companies ("intra"preneur) as well as starting and running their own businesses (entrepreneur).


Department of Family and Geriatric Medicine: Charles Kodner, Associate Professor and Director, Introduction to Clinical Medicine (ICM) Course

The Introduction to Clinical Medicine (ICM) course represents one quarter of the preclinical medical student curriculum. The course addresses topics relevant to early medical training such as patient history, physical examination, ethics, nutrition, biostatistics, health behavior counseling, evidence-based medicine, and humanism. This course has undergone dramatic improvements during the past 5 years as a result of a consistent focus on student-centered learning, a process of continuous curriculum improvement, and intentional collaboration with other medical school courses. Course revision has been guided by a clear and consistent focus on clinical skills, continuous quality improvement, patient assessment and communication skills, and student-focused curriculum development.


Department of Teaching and Learning: Karen Karp, Professor of Mathematics Education

To enhance teacher candidates’ critical thinking skills and address issues in the community, the Department of Teaching and Learning developed a coherent plan in which each course offered a Hallmark Assessment Task (HAT) that incorporated the College Conceptual Framework, including critical thinking. This resulted in an increase in both critical thinking and opportunities to impact children in the community. Evidence of impact includes better performance by teacher candidates in critical thinking skills; transformative change in faculty knowledge, beliefs, habits of practice, and links to real-world expectations; and an increase in qualified teachers who effectively address needs in schools and communities.

Department of Engineering Fundamentals: Patricia Ralston, Professor and Chair, Engineering Fundamentals

The Speed School developed a multi-leveled critical thinking program that spans from culminating experiences in undergraduate engineering capstone courses to elementary school programs. They began four year project to incorporate the Paul-Elder critical thinking framework - intentionally and transparently - across the undergraduate engineering curriculum. The Speed School is committed to the sustained incorporation of i2a in their undergraduate program. For example faculty have been actively involved with i2a since the QEP’s inception, with faculty participating on the QEP and i2a Task Groups; four faculty participating in i2a faculty learning communities, and four faculty submitting i2a SUN grant applications.


Kent School of Social Work: Anna Faul, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs

The Kent School has launched in an extensive three-year curriculum redesign incorporating critical thinking and evidence-based practice constructs to prepare master-level social workers for professional practice. Responsive to professional practice in a rapidly evolving information age and increased accountability, this program of study was built upon clear program objectives, a developmental and sequential curriculum that incorporates standards of consistency and coherency, and a sophisticated assessment of learning outcomes to measure program success and viability. The early indicators are that students perform at higher levels of critical thinking and practice, and that the community benefits in a very direct way by these changes.

Department of Geography and Geosciences: Clara Leuthart, Associate Professor of Geography and Geosciences

The Department of Geography & Geosciences offers a challenging curriculum that builds upon critical thinking skills introduced in the general education experience, is refined in the geography and geosciences courses of the major, and culminates in the research and writing of a senior thesis which serves as the department’s academic outcome measure. These principles guide the curricula of the B.S. in Applied Geography and the proposed M.S. in Applied Geography.

Technological advances in GIS (Geographic Information Science) software, satellite telemetry, and computational capabilities are dramatically increasing the capabilities of analysis in geography and the geosciences. These increased capabilities demand higher levels of critical thinking which are foundational to geography and geosciences courses. Faculty members of the Department of Geography and Geosciences are dedicated to graduating students who can think critically and make correct judgments about the use and interpretation of information obtained from these real world applications.

Office of Medical Education: Amy Holthouser, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics

Interdisciplinary Clinical Cases (ICCs) is an interdisciplinary component of the first and second year Introduction to Clinical Medicine course that uses a team-based approach to develop independent learning and critical reasoning competencies in medical students. Students are assigned to an ICC team (12 – 15 students) during the first week of medical school. Then, in the context of a simulated patient with a medical problem, sub-groups of each ICC team work together prior to each ICC meeting to research evidence-based sources for answers to clinical questions and critically appraise material presented in their larger lecture courses. The entire ICC team then convenes with their faculty mentor and shares findings, teaching each other and evaluating the approach to diagnosis and treatment for this "patient’s” disease or condition. Faculty mentors oversee the team’s work and offer feedback on the critical reasoning skills, quality of evidence, and research demonstrated by the students in the group. The ICC experience prepares students for problem-solving with the real patients they encounter during years three and four of medical school (clinical years).


Departmental Achievement in Teaching Awards Winner: Department of Chemistry: George Pack, Professor of Physical Chemistry, and the Chemistry Department Faculty

The Department of Chemistry implemented major curricular and pedagogical revisions that reflect best-teaching practices in undergraduate chemistry education. Redesigned integrated lecture/laboratory courses recognize the need to prepare modern chemists who will routinely work in an environment where the boundaries among science disciplines have become blurred. There is now a stronger emphasis on hands-on training using state-of-the-art instrumentation and computer-based technology. The re-equipping and modernization of our undergraduate labs are the result of collaborative efforts by faculty to secure external funding. The primary goal is to provide meaningful exposure to contemporary trends in practice (e.g., Green Chemistry, computational chemistry and molecular modeling, biophysical chemistry) that will prepare our undergraduates to be competitive in graduate school or industry.

A demanding curriculum, no matter how innovative, is not conducive to attracting majors and improving retention. Faculty undertook a number of initiatives to engage our students outside of lecture halls and laboratories. Improved academic and career advising; facilitating undergraduate research; increasing faculty support for undergraduate societies; and conducting regularly scheduled social events have resulted in dramatic enrollment gains.

Departmental Teaching Development Awards Winner: School of Nursing: Cathy Bays, Professor of Nursing, and Barbara Head, Associate Professor of Medicine

The School of Nursing proposed utilizing the decision case method of teaching as curricular methodology with senior baccalaureate nursing students during their capstone course. Decision case method teaching employs open-ended cases to stimulate and develop decision-making skills and critical thinking abilities in students. The cases depict actual situations taken from practice described in great detail. As an outcome project, each senior nursing student used professional interviews to develop a decision case that can be used as a teaching methodology in nursing courses.

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