Recognizing Excellence: University of Idaho Honors Faculty Achievements

Friday, April 18 2008

April 18, 2008 MOSCOW, Idaho – The University of Idaho honored nine faculty members for outstanding achievements in teaching, research, outreach and advising at the annual Excellence Awards banquet on Monday, April 14. Recipients are from the university’s Moscow campus and Boise center. Excellence Awards in Teaching
  • Daniel M. Eveleth, associate professor of management and human resources in the College of Business and Economics, is seen by his colleagues as a “champion of our student-centered learning environment.” Eveleth has taught at the University of Idaho since 1997, after earning his doctorate from Washington State University. He has played a significant leadership role over the past decade in the college’s Integrated Business Curriculum, team-teaching with 15 other faculty members and working with approximately 1,000 students. Regarding his fundamental approach to teaching, he writes “my general goals…are to have students get to the end of a course with the ability to ‘retell the story’ and to understand the ‘moral of the story,’ [which means being] able to transfer the course material to the practice of managing and leading others in the workplace.” One student wrote that Eveleth’s interactive-style of teaching was “most helpful…you cannot help but get involved.” Eveleth received a $2,500 award.
  • Dale Graden, professor of history, describes himself as “a disciple of the Brazilian educator Paulo Freire,” and has applied numerous principles of Freire’s to his own teaching. Graden came to the University of Idaho in 1992, after earning his doctorate in Latin American history at the University of Connecticut. In 2002 and 2003, Graden helped organize two trips to Cuba. Participants included University of Idaho faculty and students, as well as Moscow residents. He has done much to encourage students to travel and study outside the U.S., particularly in Latin America. “Dale is passionate about encouraging his students to explore other cultures and pursue opportunities for travel and study abroad,” wrote Jennifer Moore, a former student. Graden teaches Comparative African American Cultures, Modern Latin America, and the CORE course, Contemporary American Experience. Former student James Martin wrote, “Dr. Graden demonstrated a level of involvement with students far beyond my experience and expectations.” Graden received a $5,000 award.
  • Joseph F. Guenthner, professor of agricultural economics, is known for his innovative teaching techniques, including role-playing and marketing games. He began teaching at the University of Idaho in 1980. Former student Megan Huddleston wrote, “Dr. Guenthner has a knack for introducing material in such a way that even the most detached students raise their hands to comment.” One student commented that, “his use of visual aids, team activities, guest speakers and games really helped me to apply the information to real world scenarios.” Guenthner earned a doctorate in agricultural economics from Washington State University and previous degrees from Montana State University and the University of Wisconsin. He was a visiting scholar at the University of Cambridge in England. He received a $2,500 award.
  • Hoffman Award in Teaching
  • Through the use of online and hybrid courses, Michael Kroth, assistant professor of adult, career and technology education in the College of Education, has reached non-traditional students and employed a variety of innovative teaching strategies at the University of Idaho Boise since January 2005. He earned his doctorate in training and learning technologies from the University of New Mexico in 1997. His most recent book, entitled “The Manager as Motivator” (Praeger Publishers, 2006), is being translated into Russian, and another book, “Transforming Work” (Basic Books, 2001), is being translated into Korean. Using concepts from his books, Kroth has facilitated a monthly workshop series, “Lunch and Lead,” for business, educational and other organizational leaders from the Boise area. “This is teaching that reaches deep into our community,” writes Carolyn Keeler, professor of education. He received a $1,500 award. This award for non-tenured faculty is supported by the Jesse and Mabel Hoffman Endowment. Kroth is based in Boise.
  • Excellence Awards in Research or Creative Activity
  • Peter Goodwin, the DeVlieg Presidential Professor in Ecohydraulics and professor of civil engineering, is recognized internationally for his research with particular contributions in the field of sedimentation and the impact of river management on ecosystems. He founded and is director of the Center for Ecohydraulics Research at the University of Idaho, which he has developed into an internationally recognized research center. He joined the University of Idaho in 1996, after earning his doctorate from the University of California at Berkeley. In his research, Goodwin has demonstrated a commitment to scholarship and education as an integral part of research. He is committed to developing the careers of other academics, and has provided support, advice and mentoring to people around the world. He received a $5,000 award. Goodwin is based in Boise.
  • Excellence Awards in Outreach Rula Awwad-Rafferty, associate professor of architecture and interior design, focuses on many issues as she emphasizes outreach and engagement to a variety of constituencies through her work. Examples include human rights and social justice advocacy and outreach, challenging stereotypes, bridging divides and speaking truth to power; co-authored design, which is a participatory and engaged community-based design approach; and service learning and civic engagement in both curricular and co-curricular activities dealing with parallel narratives and spatial/place-based conflicts. Awwad-Rafferty derives great satisfaction from working with students and supporting their engagement with citizens for the future benefit of Idaho communities. She earned degrees from the University of Idaho in 1990 and Yarmouk University in Irbid, Jordan, in 1985. Colleagues cite her care for the people involved in her work – whatever age, community or project – as the essence of her outreach and engagement. She received a $5,000 award. Excellence Award in Advising
  • As an adviser to graduate students in rehabilitation counseling, Jerome M. Fischer, professor of counseling and school psychology in special education and educational leadership, plays a crucial role in helping them develop into counselors. He requires students to be active, engaged learners by having them apply numerous career assessment and personality tests to explore themselves as people and counselors and aid in their choice of internship. Fischer has taught the Orientation to Counseling course, which he co-created with colleagues, for 12 years, and uses it to test the best fit between potential students and the counseling profession. Numerous counseling programs, teacher education and doctoral programs have reviewed and praised this process as an advising strategy. Fischer joined the University of Idaho in 1993. He received a $2,500 award.
  • Colleagues have observed that Marc Skinner, assistant director of the School of Journalism and Mass Media, usually is the first person incoming JAMM students meet with at the University of Idaho, and many decide to stay with him for advising their entire four years. He serves as the primary academic adviser for all JAMM freshmen, sophomore and transfer students. He said, “of all my responsibilities, my one-on-one interaction with students as an adviser is the most rewarding part.” Skinner said his goal as an adviser is to get to know students well enough that they feel they can approach him anywhere on campus with questions. He tries to help students think long-term as they make decisions about their future. He always is accessible as a reliable resource for other advisers, particularly new faculty members. With three new school faculty members hired within the past 18 months, he also has helped answer policy and curriculum questions. He received a $2,500 award.
  • Bill L. Smith, director of the Martin Institute and Martin School of International Studies, serves as the primary International Studies undergraduate adviser and oversees the Martin Scholars Program. He uses a multi-faceted approach in advising his students, and tailors his advising to individual students with one-on-one meetings several times a semester and often holds non-official advising sessions to discuss the study abroad programs, graduate school and professional opportunities. Colleagues note that Smith, “does a terrific job of advising students as to which study abroad courses will fit the International Studies degree program.” Smith has been with the University of Idaho since he earned his doctorate from Washington State University in 2000. He received a $2,500 award.
  • # # # About the University of Idaho Founded in 1889, the University of Idaho is the state’s flagship higher-education institution and its principal graduate education and research university, bringing insight and innovation to the state, the nation and the world. University researchers attract nearly $100 million in research grants and contracts each year; the University of Idaho is the only institution in the state to earn the prestigious Carnegie Foundation ranking for high research activity. The university’s student population includes first-generation college students and ethnically diverse scholars. Offering more than 150 degree options in 10 colleges, the university combines the strengths of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. For information, visit Contact: Tania Thompson, University Communications, (208) 885-6567, CW-4/18/08-ADM

    About the University of Idaho
    The University of Idaho helps students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals. For information, visit