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Office of the Provost

Distinguished Teaching Award

Teaching excellence has always been the focus of Carthage, and the College has always had a corps of caring and stimulating teachers. In the 20th century, legendary professors such as Elmer Hanke in music, Merle Chapin in English, Alice Kibbe in biology, Merle Boyer in philosophy, Shandy Holland in theatre, and dozens of others established a tradition of teaching excellence.

In 1967, the Board of Trustees voted to recognize formally superior teaching by creating the Distinguished Teaching Award. It established a confidential committee to review nominations from students and select one faculty member for this special commendation.

The Distinguished Teaching Award has become an annual tradition. The award has been presented to individuals from a wide range of disciplines. Many still teach at Carthage, and others have retired with emeritus status, an indication of the College’s ability to retain excellent teachers.


Nominations for the 2021 Distinguished Teaching Award were due by 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, March 31, 2021. Information about the 2022 award will be available in spring 2022. 
Questions? Write to

Past Recipients

2020-21 — Debbie Minsky-Kelly, Social Work
2019-20 — James Lochtefeld, Religion
2018-19 — Kim Instenes, Theatre
2017-18 — E. Edward Kawakami, Music
2016-17 — Paul Martino, Biology
2015-16 — Alyson Kiesel, English
2014-15 — John Isham, Communication and Digital Media, Modern Languages, Western Heritage, Great Ideas
2013-14 — Wayne Thompson, Sociology and Criminal Justice
2012-13 — Maria Carrig, English
2011-12 — Elaine Radwanski, Biology
2010-11 — Gregory Baer, Modern Languages
2009-10 — Christine Blaine, Chemistry
2008-09 — Stephen Udry, History
2007-08 — Robert Maleske, Psychology
2006-07 — Timothy Eckert, Chemistry
2005-06 — Marilyn Ward, Education
2004-05 — Erik Kulke, Modern Languages
2003-04 — Mark Snavely, Mathematics
2002-03 — Jeffrey Roberg, Political Science
2001-02 — Julio Rivera, Geography and Earth Science
2000-01 — Aaron Trautwein, Mathematics
1999-00 — Daniel Miller, Psychology and Neuroscience
1998-99 — David Brunn, Business Administration and Accounting
1997-98 — Sandra Harrington, Biology
1996-97 — Thomas Brawner, Biology
1995-96 — Romwald Maczka, Religion
1994-95 — Erlan Wheeler, Mathematics and Computer Science
1993-94 — David Steege, English
1992-93 — Jon Swift, Exercise and Sport Science
1991-92 — Paul Hansen, Chemistry
1990-91 — Shandy Holland, Speech and Theatre
1989-90 — Richard Miller, Geography and Social Sciences
1988-89 — Ingrid Tiegel, Psychology
1987-88 — Charlotte Chell, Mathematics, Computer Science
1986-87 — Dennis P. Strommen, Chemistry
1985-86 — Edwin C. Kalke, Art
1984-85 — James C. Kennedy, Psychology
1983-84 — Irene J. Kraemer, French
1982-83 — Robert L. Hade, Chemistry
1981-82 — John Windh, Music
1980-81 — Thomas J. Noer, History
1979-80 — Travis T. DuPriest, Jr., English
1978-79 — Carol Huetting, Physical Education
1977-78 — John W. Bailey, History
1976-77 — Dudley V. Riggle, Religion
1975-76 — John A. Neuenschwander, History
1974-75 — David M. Rhoads, Religion
1973-74 — Harold G. Kruger, Religion
1972-73 — Donald M. Michie, English
1971-72 — Evelyn Crump, Biology
1970-71 — Kenneth L. Hamm, Chemistry
1969-70 — Nelson Peter Ross, History
1968-69 — Wayne Johnson, Philosophy
1967-68 — Larry Hamilton, Psychology

  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2021), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • The Tower, Carthage’s newest residence hall, provides some of the best views on campus — if not in the Midwest! In addition to #carthageviews of the lake from seven stories up, residents enjoy suite-style living and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about all housing options.

    • You’re going to need brain fuel. Grab a morning coffee and a snack and Starbucks or Einstein Bros. Bagels. Later, meet friends at “The Caf,” where the specials change daily but the staples are constant, or swing through “The Stu” for wings, a burrito, or a sub. A new option, Carthage Cash, even covers some off-campus meals.

    • More than 90% of Carthage alumni report that they have secured a job or are continuing their studies six months after graduation. Visit The Aspire Center.

    • 91% of employers say critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills matter more than your major when it comes to career success. Learn more about how the liberal arts prepare you for a successful career.

    • Lots of schools wear the four-year label. Carthage stands behind it. More than 90% of Carthage graduates earn their degrees in four years. Learn more

    • Oscars. Emmys. Tonys. Golden Globes. The playwrights we’ve brought in have them. Each year, the Carthage Theatre Department commissions an original script by a renowned playwright for its New Play Initiative. Carthage students then work with the writer to stage it. 

    • Carthage has ranked as a top Fulbright producer for four of the past five years. Read about Carthage Fulbright winners.

    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our science center, student union, athletic and recreation center, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 15 years.

    • Carthage offers majors, minors, and concentrations in more than 50 areas of study, from marketing to neuroscience, nursing to music theatre.

    • Our Summer Undergraduate Research Experience offers select students a research budget, one-on-one mentoring with a professor, and 10 weeks of analyzing, deciphering — and getting paid.

    • So the lake is kind of a focal point, but there’s a lot more to love about our campus — like the fact that our more than 80-acre campus is also an arboretum and wildlife sanctuary. Focused on keeping campus lush forever, we plant between 50 and 75 new trees every year from a variety of species.

    • Carthage was founded in 1847. That’s more than 170 years of leaders, makers, and go-getters going out and going forth. Read more about Carthage’s rich history.

    • More than 90 percent of students receive financial aid. Carthage awards more than $20 million in scholarship and grant assistance. That includes $5.5 million in competitive scholarships in business, mathematics, science, languages, the fine arts, leadership, and overall academic strength. Learn what’s available.

    • Abraham Lincoln was an early Trustee of the College, and U.S. Secretary of State John Hay was a Carthage alum. The two still have a proud place on our campus. Spend some time with them in our Sesquicentennial Plaza. On warm days you’ll find professors leading their classes here.

    • Come to Carthage; hear yourself think — think … think …
      Legend has it that Sesquicentennial Plaza holds a perfect echo. Just stand with both your feet on the “1847,” face Straz, and start talking. “You’re the only one who can hear you, but you’ll be crystal clear,” promises English and theatre alumna Mikaley Osley.

    • Our Great Lake provides Carthage students with some amazing views. Think classes on the beach, lake views from the lab, and sunrises from your dorm room. “I love waking up in the morning with the sun shining off the lake. Nothing compares to the view in the morning,” recalls biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary.

    • Carthage awards up to 35 Presidential Scholarships each year, which range from $25,000 up to full tuition. Learn more.

    • For a full decade, NASA has selected Carthage students to conduct research aboard its zero-gravity aircraft. Lately, the stakes have risen. A team of underclassmen is grinding to prepare a tiny but powerful Earth-imaging satellite for launch to the International Space Station. Learn more about the space sciences at Carthage

    • Carthage is the only college or university in the Midwest where every freshman takes a full-year sequence of foundational texts of the Western intellectual tradition. Learn about Intellectual Foundations.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 13:1, your professors will know who you are. They will also know who you want to be — and how to get you there. Meet our faculty.

    • There are more than 130 student organizations on campus, from Amnesty International to Fencing to Frisbee, Chem Club to Stand Up Comedy. See how easy it is to get involved.

    • True story: There are more than 27 art galleries, a dozen museums, and nine theatres within 25 miles of Carthage. Some highlights: The nationally recognized Racine Art Museum, the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Learn more about our location.

    • What’s better than one professor? Two professors. What’s better than two professors? Two professors from totally different fields teaching a single class. There’s debate. Discussion. Differing perspectives. This is where the magic happens. That’s why every student takes a Carthage Symposium.

    • You can’t hide here — not with only 17 other students in the classroom with you. That’s going to be rough some mornings. But later, when you’re able to argue your point of view thoughtfully, express your opinions succinctly, and meet challenges head-on, without fear … Yep, you’ll thank us.

    • Carthage is ranked in the Top 5 in the country for student participation in short-term study abroad. Every J-Term, hundreds of students travel all over the world on faculty-led study tours. Imagine a month in Sweden, Rome, Cuba, Senegal, India, Japan …