Select Faculty Honored as Outstanding Teachers

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The University of Arizona Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost and the UA Foundation are honoring associate professor Laura Gutiérrez, senior lecturer Lester I. McCann, associate professor Vicente Talanquer and lecturer Thomas Wilson for their outstanding achievements in teaching.
These honors include the Henry and Phyllis Koffler Prize awarded to Talanquer for his contributions to the department of chemistry and biochemistry; the UA Foundation Leicester and Kathryn Sherrill Creative Teaching Award honoring McCann in the department of computer science; and the Provost's General Education Teaching Award honoring Wilson in the department of soil, water and environmental science and Gutiérrez for her work in the department of Spanish and Portuguese.

Award recipients will be honored at the Awards of Distinction Ceremony in April at the Student Union Memorial Center.

Thomas Wilson, Lecturer in the CALS Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science

Wilson's responsibilities principally are associated with undergraduate education including the development and teaching of a course for the UA Honors College.

He is considered the cornerstone of the undergraduate education program within the UA department of soil, water and environmental science and serves as chair for the Curriculum Committee.

He also is a member of the UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Curriculum Committee working to address, revise or improve courses for undergraduate students and serves as a faculty advisor for the environmental science and sustainable plant systems undergraduate degrees.
He combines classroom teaching with a significant amount of field experience including active research at Biosphere 2 and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. In addition, he facilitates a study abroad program in Namibia where he teaches a six-week course in desert ecology and conservation biology.

"His enthusiasm and passion for biology are infectious. He demonstrates critical thinking and scientific perspectives in ways that are evident and accessible. When you see Tom interact with students, it is evident that teaching and learning work two ways," one of the nominators said.

Read more from this March 29 article from UANews at