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UW-Eau Claire Chemistry Professor Wins
Wisconsin Professor of the Year Award
MAILED: Nov. 13, 2001
EAU CLAIRE — Scott Hartsel is a man of many interests. He is about to step into the spotlight as Noah in the Eau Claire Children's Theatre production of "Children of Eden," he loves to figure skate with his daughters and revels in recreational reading.
But his true passion lies in the chemistry lab. For 13 years Hartsel has been sharing his passion with the students he teaches at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, inspiring them to delve deeply into complex research projects and pursue postgraduate degrees.
In recognition of his exceptional accomplishments in the classroom Hartsel, a UW-Eau Claire chemistry professor, has won the prestigious 2001 Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching Wisconsin Professor of the Year award.
The award is given annually by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education to recognize the importance of undergraduate instruction at all types of higher education institutions. CASE began the Professors of the Year program in 1981. This year, there are winners in 45 states and the District of Columbia. Hartsel knows he is in select company. "I was really surprised," Hartsel said. "My department carried me on this. It's a department with a long, strong reputation among institutions with outstanding science programs."
Hartsel began his teaching career at UW-Eau Claire in 1988. In 1999, Hartsel was the winner of UW-Eau Claire's Excellence in Scholarship award, one of the highest awards presented to faculty by the university. Three of his research students have earned the UW-Eau Claire Arts and Sciences Outstanding Senior award.
"Professor Hartsel is an effective and innovative classroom teacher," said Jack Pladziewicz, chemistry department chair. "He is well read, knowledgeable and has a knack for incorporating relevant material from his research, the technical literature and popular press into his lectures."
"I have observed Scott during his entire 13-year tenure at UW-Eau Claire," said Provost Ronald Satz, who nominated Hartsel for the award. "He is an outstanding teacher and undergraduate research mentor."
Chancellor Donald Mash praised Hartsel for his dedication to excellence in the classroom. "Scott's enthusiasm is apparent to all who work with him, and to the students he teaches. He truly represents the UW-Eau Claire tradition of great teaching," Mash said.
But Hartsel's influence extends well beyond the classroom. He is a researcher who works side-by-side with undergraduate students on scholarly projects. "He was always in there checking on us, giving us the skills we needed to succeed in his lab and be good scientists in general," said Emily Bauer, UW-Eau Claire senior and Kell Foundation Research Scholar.
Together with his students, Hartsel has published 12 refereed papers and sponsored more than 30 regional, national and international presentations by undergraduates. More than 75 percent of these undergraduate students have received or are working toward their medical or doctorate degree.
"We're taking kids who are really smart and showing them the possibilities and they are taking advantage of it," said Hartsel.
And the results of that approach are impressive. UW-Eau Claire leads in the nation in the number of chemistry graduates who go on to earn their doctorate degree.
Hartsel was selected for the award from 384 faculty members nominated by colleges and universities throughout the country. Three panels of judges evaluated nominees in the following areas: impact on and involvement with undergraduate students; scholarly approach to teaching and learning; contribution to undergraduate education in the institution, community and profession; and support from colleagues and current and former undergraduate students.
Hartsel received his bachelor's degree in microbiology from Ohio University and his master's and doctorate degrees in microbiology, biophysics and pharmacognosy from Ohio State University. He also was a postdoctorate fellow in chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Virginia.
The national and state winners of the U.S. Professor of the Year program will be announced at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Nov. 13.
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: Nov. 13, 2001