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History faculty member receives Career Excellence in Teaching Award

June 21, 2012
 Selika Ducksworth-Lawton
Dr. Selika Ducksworth-Lawton
EAU CLAIRE — The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire's second annual College of Arts and Sciences Career Excellence in Teaching Award recently was presented to Dr. Selika Ducksworth-Lawton, associate professor of history. She will receive the $1,000 award at the opening of the 2012-13 academic year.

The award was created by the UW-Eau Claire Foundation through the generosity of an individual donor who wished to remain anonymous. The intent is to recognize one member of the faculty or instructional academic staff each year for a career-long history of excellence in teaching.

"I am honored to receive this award," said Ducksworth-Lawton, who was recommended by colleagues and students for the award. " It is humbling to recognize the respect that my fellow faculty and administrators feel for my teaching."

In addition to academic instruction, Ducksworth-Lawton advises the Black Student Alliance through the UW-Eau Claire Office of Multicultural Affairs, coordinates university activities for Black History Month and assists in organizing the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Remembrance event. She also recently completed a two-year term as UW-Eau Claire's equity, diversity and inclusivity fellow. As the EDI fellow, Ducksworth-Lawton worked with departments and units across campus, University Senate and university administrators to identify best practices to advance EDI efforts, with a focus on retention and recruitment of minority students.

Ducksworth-Lawton is currently conducting research on the Deacons for Defense and Justice, an African-American militia involved in the civil rights movement in the mid-1960s.

"The current Deacons research is incredibly important and close to my heart, since I am from Louisiana," Ducksworth-Lawton said. "Helping my students understand race feels like my contribution to the work of making the world a better place."

In letters of recommendation from students and faculty, Ducksworth-Lawton was described as "the best lecturer [students] ever heard in their college careers."

"Through the several classes and my personal interaction with Dr. Ducksworth-Lawton, I have learned a lot and would not be the same student I am today without her," wrote history student Kenneth Smith.

Smith recalled a squirt gun fight with ROTC cadets in which Ducksworth-Lawton gave the group hands-on experience in deploying the military tactics that they studied in class.

"Without these clever and fun hands-on lessons beyond our text readings, we would not have been able to fully appreciate the study of military history," Smith wrote.

For more information about the Career Excellence in Teaching Award, contact the UW-Eau Claire Foundation at fndn@uwec.edu.

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GD/JP/DW

Excellence. Our Measure. Our Motto. Our Goal.