Introducing the 2017 Innovative Teaching Award Winners Posted on December 8th, 2017 by

The selection committee for the 2017-2018 Innovative Teaching Award would like to thank all of the nominees for their applications. Not surprisingly, the committee was impressed by all the effort, creativity, and thoughtfulness that the candidates put into their courses. We will be publishing interviews with all of the applicants in a series of blog posts called “Profiles in Innovation” to appear over the next few months including our two award winners who are…

Teaching Award for Innovative Course Design

Baker Lawley, Communication Studies

Award: $1000

In Professor Lawley’s new Editing and Publishing course (ENG 350), students serve as the editorial staff for both Firethorne, an on-campus print literary magazine featuring the creative work of Gustavus students, and Razor, an online journal featuring professional writers from across the world. In order to publish both magazines, students had to read over 650 submissions of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, establish criteria for “good” literature, and decide as a group which submissions should be published. In addition, students learned both online and print design principles. Then laid out, copyedited, and published all of the chosen submissions. The course provided an innovative integration of the English Department’s learning outcomes for their students with skills useful for running a small business. Even though students were learning and applying literary theory, doing close readings of hundreds of texts, and discussing why literature matters, many viewed themselves as interns rather than students and reported having more confidence in knowing how to apply their English skills in a variety of contexts.

Teaching Award for Innovative Assignment Design

Glenn Kranking, History

Award: $500

In Professor Kranking’s new course, We Want You! Propaganda and Persuasion in the Modern World (HIS 303), students engaged in a semester-long project to create and maintain a class website ( that presents and analyzes historical examples of propaganda. In addition, students designed and implemented their own propaganda campaign to encourage student voting in the most recent Presidential election. Importantly, Professor Kranking engineered innovative ways for students to engage with their classmates’ posted material, including having the class develop a tagging system to classify incoming propaganda posts and requiring students to use examples of propaganda posted by their classmates on both their midterm and final exams. The thoughtful integration of the project into both the students’ daily lives as well as with the other course material was impressive.


In upcoming weeks, read interviews with this year’s winners and the other applicants on the Kendall Center Blog


One Comment

  1. Lynn Dong says: