Subscribe to Fourth Estate Watch our YouTube Channel Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Facebook

UWGB professor is best in state

Andrew Campnell, News Writer
December 4, 2012
Filed under News, Top Stories

The Council for Advancement and Support of Education and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has named UW-Green Bay professor of humanistic studies and history Gregory Aldrete as Wisconsin’s Professor of the Year.

A professor at the school for more than 17 years, Aldrete said he was surprised as well as humbled by the news.

But he felt this award showed his dedication to teaching.

In spring, all nominations were collected and the judging process began, said Heyward Smith, CASE specialist of legislative, foundation and recognition programs. From there, the nominees were judged in a three-round judging process that ended in August.

Associate professor of humanistic studies and history Clifton Ganyard said he was thrilled to hear his colleague won the honor.

“He definitely deserves to get this award,” Ganyard said. “He’s one of the best teachers and one of the best scholars we have at this university.”

Smith said the award is designed for excellence in undergraduate teaching.

There are four criteria a professor must meet: impact and involvement with undergraduate students, scholarly approach to teaching, contributions to undergraduate education and support from colleagues.

Aldrete is the third UWGB professor to win the award.

Previous recipients include human development and psychology professor Regan Gurung in 2002 and retired professor emerita of history and humanistic studies Joyce Salisbury in 1995.

“It sets a standard that our teachers are winning these awards,” Ganyard said. “We have a fantastic faculty that are very much interested in our students. This is a student-centered, student-driven university.”

Smith said the student letters were enthusiastic and the colleague letters were outstanding. In fact, judges cited his rapport with the students was one of the factors the judges looked at when selecting Aldrete.

“[The award] just seemed to seriously recognize the amount of time and effort spent working with students,” Smith said.

Aldrete said one of his strengths has always been showing relevance of his materials to students. Much of his research involves ancient Roman and Greek history, and Aldrete always tries to involve his students in his work.

“My teaching philosophy has always been that there’s no one way to teach,” Aldrete said.

One of the ways he has involved his students is the Linothorax project. In this project, he and a group of students recreated and tested armor worn by ancient Greek conqueror, Alexander the Great.

Aldrete co-wrote a book on the experience with one of his former students, Scott Bartell.

Ganyard said another example of his student involvement was a role-playing game based on the Peloponnesian War in ancient Greece.

Aside from student involvement, Ganyard said what separates Aldrete from other professors is his enthusiasm for his work.

“All historians love history, but Greg brings a quality to his teaching and his scholarship that few of us can match,” Ganyard said.

Aldrete said another strength is his emphasis on primary sources in his classes.

“I emphasize these sources because history is a story. It’s more than just names and dates,” Aldrete said.