Tara Prestholdt, biology, won the 2019 Excellence in Teaching Award at the 63rd Annual Meeting of the Association of College and University Biology Educators (ACUBE). The award is offered annually to honor faculty who both practice and promote effective, innovative teaching in the biology classroom.
While the entire campus is no doubt aware of Prestholdt’s polymathic proficiency, mathematics professor Stephanie Salomone explains it best: “Tara is a true mentor to her undergraduates. Tara’s expectations for her co-researchers are high. They will not just do good science, but they will be able to explain their work to people who are as far as possible from experts. They will not just enjoy science, or like science; they will find science exciting,the process of discovery exhilarating, and the difficult cognitive task of explaining science to laymen motivating. Every student that I’ve known who has worked in Tara’s lab has come out skilled in scientific research, and eager to get back into the lab or the field to do more.
“Further, Tara Prestholdt is dedicated to improving undergraduate education on campus and beyond. Tara’s work on the NSF-funded REFLECT project has helped transform the culture of undergraduate STEM education at UP into one that responds to the evidence of what makes for great teaching – active, hands-on, engaged approaches to instruction. She is a supportive mentor for other faculty who are new to evidence-based practices, she is innovative in her own approaches to teaching, and she is a leader who deeply deserves this recognition.”