CLAS announces 2013-2014 Collegiate Teaching Awards

Amber Brian, Will Jennings, Paul Kalina, Randall McEntaffer, Kristine Muñoz, and David Peate are recognized for outstanding teaching in the classroom, laboratory, or studio.
Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) has announced six recipients of the 2013-2014 Collegiate Teaching Awards. The recipients, chosen by the College’s Teaching Awards Committee from nominations by students and colleagues, are Amber Brian (Spanish & Portuguese), Will Jennings (Rhetoric), Paul Kalina (Theatre Arts), Randall McEntaffer (Physics & Astronomy), Kristine Muñoz (Communication Studies), and David Peate (Earth & Environmental Sciences). In addition, Stephen Berry (Journalism & Mass Communication) and Sara Sanders (Social Work) received honorable mentions.

“The work that our faculty members do with our students in classrooms, studios, and laboratories is at the heart of our mission,” said CLAS Dean Chaden Djalali. “However, great teaching also extends behind the scenes into curriculum development, mentoring, and research. Our Collegiate Teaching Award recipients care deeply about our students' academic experiences, and I could not be more proud to recognize their accomplishments.”

Amber BrianAmber Brian An assistant professor in the Department of Spanish & Portuguese, Professor Brian has designed several courses at all levels of the Spanish curriculum, from beginning undergraduate major to PhD, and was an early adopter of TILE classroom technology. Her focus on helping all students at all levels develop their intellectual and communicative abilities stems from her commitment to put students first and adapt her teaching to their needs. In addition to teaching, she enthusiastically advises undergraduates and mentors graduate students.

Will JenningsWill Jennings A lecturer in the Department of Rhetoric, Will Jennings is a committed and engaged teacher in and out of the classroom. His teaching connects course materials to the larger civic “ classroom," guiding and mentoring students throughout their careers at Iowa and beyond. His enthusiasm and curiosity about the world naturally informs his teaching, and students often comment on his rigorously academic yet respectful and approachable manner in the classroom.

Paul KalinaPaul Kalina An assistant professor in the Department of Theatre Arts, Professor Kalina teaches movement and acting. He is described as versatile, immediate, instinctive, creative, nurturing, and encouraging. His commitment to his students results in his always working to understand the totality of their training—not just his own areas of expertise—and he regularly brings theatre professionals to campus to teach special and necessary skills such as auditioning.

Randall McEntafferRandall McEntaffer.  Professor McEntaffer, of the Department of Physics & Astronomy, is known for his contagious enthusiasm for astronomy, which keeps his students interested and engaged. His large lectures are very popular, and he also excels at teaching more challenging material to astronomy majors and teaching graduate seminars using a hands-on approach.


Kristine MuñozKristine Muñoz Professor Kristine Muñoz of the Department of Communication Studies is known for her experiential and student-focused approach to her teaching. She is an engaging teacher in a large lecture setting, and in more advanced classes she offers students extraordinary opportunities such as intercultural exchanges with students from Finland and Spain. One student notes, “Professor Muñoz has a unique style of teaching that that makes every student feel welcome and comfortable. She makes complex theories digestible and always offers a refreshing, innovative style to lecturing.”

David PeateDavid Peate An associate professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Professor Peate teaches a variety of courses at many levels. He relishes collaboration with faculty from other disciplines, and was instrumental in developing an innovative, multidisciplinary course called “Origins of Life in the Universe,” which is team-taught in a TILE classroom by faculty from several natural sciences departments. He always strives to understand the undergraduate experience and perspective, and is noted for his commitment to active, hands-on learning, and for mentoring and advising students at all levels.

The University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences offers about 70 majors across the humanities; fine, performing and literary arts; natural and mathematical sciences; social and behavioral sciences; and communication disciplines. About 15,000 undergraduate and nearly 2,000 graduate students study each year in the college’s 37 departments, led by faculty at the forefront of teaching and research in their disciplines. The college teaches all Iowa undergraduates through the college's general education program, CLAS CORE. About 80 percent of all Iowa undergraduates begin their academic journey in CLAS. The college confers about 60 percent of the university's bachelor's degrees each academic year.