The Teacher of the Year Award is the highest achievement a faculty member can receive at the University of Indianapolis, according to the site of the teacher of the year. It is awarded to a teacher who demonstrates dedication and commitment to his students and his art. UIndy has named Laura Wilson, Associate Professor of History and Political Science, Professor of the Year 2021.
“I felt incredibly humiliated,” Wilson said. “I have to stress this word ‘humbled’ because we are an institution which values teaching, which has an enormous amount of talent and a wealth of knowledge in teaching and experience.”
Vice-President and Acting Provost Mary Beth Bagg is responsible for reviewing the appointment process. Bagg said she was happy with the list of nominees and supported the decision made by the Teacher of the Year committee in selecting Wilson.
“I’ve always known her to be a very dynamic instructor,” Bagg said. “One of those faculty members who really has the ability to engage with his students. “
Wilson said she helps her students achieve their dreams through teaching, mentoring and research. She said she was thrilled with the honor, but she doesn’t need the award to remind her that education is essential.
“It’s absolutely the most important thing we do here at UIndy,” Wilson said. “And that’s for me, that’s why I’m here. It’s working with students and it’s challenging, inspiring and engaging with them. I really appreciate them [the awards], but it’s not the only factor, it’s not the motivator, it’s really our students.
Bagg said she agreed with Wilson that the awards prove that what is done is worth it for others and is a contribution to the institution.
“I think what we really see here at UIndy is a strong faculty that works every day to help our students succeed,” Bagg said. “And I really believe it from the bottom of my heart because I have seen it during more than 30 years of work in the institution.”
Bagg said she was proud to be a part of UIndy. She said she was proud of all of the professors that were nominated, but the nature of how it works is that one person will rise to the top and win the highest honor here at the university.
“I see we have great teachers, who work really hard for and with our students to help them be successful. . . “Bagg said.” Everyone who has been nominated deserves it, otherwise they would not have been nominated initially to be considered for ‘teacher of the year’. “
This is Wilson’s 11th year of teaching and his seventh year at UIndy. Wilson said she started teaching when she was a doctoral student. student at the University of Alabama.
“I teach about campaigns and elections, women in politics, public policy and American political behavior,” Wilson said. “I’m really interested in how people think, feel and engage in politics. “
Wilson has said that conversations about politics are tough, but she thinks they’re really important.
“I love doing this on campus, but I do a lot of things in the community and I do a lot of media work,” Wilson said. “Because not everyone is in a college classroom and we can’t pretend that conversations just happen here and don’t happen once you leave campus. I like being able to do things in the community. So it’s like a bigger campus, a bigger classroom if you will.
Bagg also recognized Wilson’s work in the community. She said Wilson was involved in other activities on campus, so she was not only working in her department, but also looking for ways to help her students beyond the classroom.
“She started the Gender Center, she always applies for grants, looks for opportunities to really step out of the classroom, and finds ways to involve students in the community in other ways. . . “said Bagg.” At UIndy teaching is the No.1 thing, we are an educational institution, but we also expect our teachers to be engaged in scholarship and service of all kinds. in ways and Laura does. I think that’s a pretty important part of who she is as a person and as a faculty member here at UIndy.
Wilson said she wanted to continue playing a role in the lives of her students during the four years she spent with them. She said she wanted to make that connection with her students both inside and outside the classroom.
“I want to be a teacher because I had great teachers and they made me love learning,” Wilson said. “I work with people who make me love teaching, but at the end of the day, it’s because [of] students.”