Dr. Todd Stephens, professor of special education, received the Excellence in Teaching Award. A UW-Eau Claire faculty member since 1997, Stephens was recognized by former students for his passion in teaching future special education educators and the real-life experiences he brings to the classroom.
“Professor Stephens was openly passionate about his teaching career, and the world of special education,” said Freesia Krogstad, a 2017 UW-Eau Claire graduate and one of Stephens’ nominators. “The experiences he brought into the classroom were unmatched. He discussed with his students the stigmas surrounding those with individualized needs, and sought to humanize people above anything else. Professor Stephens had high expectations of us as students and as future educators, and it was a privilege to be his student. The lessons I've learned have aided me in becoming a better teacher and person.”
Dr. Cathy Thorsen, associate professor and chair of the special education department, noted that Stephens is a charismatic and engaging teacher and an active recruiter of students in his introductory courses into special education.
“He is student centered and very knowledgeable and passionate about teaching future educators how to meet the varied needs of individual students with disabilities and their families,” Thorsen said.