2017 Recipient

Congratulations to Keith Vander Linden (Computer Science), the recipient of the Innovative Teaching Award!

Keith has a talent for making challenging material accessible to students, and the department has called on Keith multiple times to improve problematic courses. Keith has created CS100, Creating Interactive Web Media, which teaches arts and humanities students how to develop software; the course regularly fills to capacity. And alumni regularly and unequivocally note that his teaching and mentoring in Software Engineering—a tedious course at many other colleges—have catalyzed their career success.

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