2016 Recipient

Congratulations to Vicki DeVries (French), the recipient of the Innovative Teaching Award!

Vicki has been a leader in innovative teaching in the field of world languages for many years. In 2009 she created French 131, an intensive five-hour course that brings students through the equivalent of the 101–102 courses in one semester. Many of the students who have taken French 131 and the rest of the language sequence go on to take advanced classes at the 300 level; they also have participated in the French semester program in Grenoble and completed minors and even majors in French. Vicki’s students love her course and thrive in the intensive language environment that she creates.

Purpose of the Award

Education research over the past few decades has provided deeper insights into the nature and modes of student learning. The Innovative Teaching Award recognizes and encourages faculty members who have contributed significant, creative teaching innovations and strategies that promote effective and deeper learning.


Any full-time or reduced-load member of the teaching faculty may be nominated for this award.

Selection Criteria

In a community of learning, good teachers often learn from other teachers—from teaching mentors and from fellow teachers who reflect on and continually seek teaching strategies that promote deeper and more engaged learning. Award recipients will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • Demonstrated commitment to teaching students effectively.
  • Development of one or more effective, innovative teaching strategies that promote learning.
  • Exceptional teaching skills that are evidenced in the testimony and lives of both current and former students.

Process for Selection

From September through October, the provost will solicit letters of nomination from individuals, department chairs, and the faculty fellows. The academic deans will review faculty activities reports and state of the department reports and, based on their review, may make their own nominations. In consultation together and with the provost, the academic deans will decide on up to three nominees to present to the Professional Status Committee. There is no restriction regarding how many nominees may come from a single department or division. The Professional Status Committee will select the award recipient by December 1.

Past Recipients