Buena Vista University's highest faculty and staff honors were presented during the annual BVU Faculty/Staff Recognition Dinner held Saturday, May 17. Dr. Stan Ullerich, professor of economics and dean of the Harold Walter Siebens School of Business, received the prestigious George Wythe Award for Teaching Excellence. Ullerich is the 22nd faculty member to receive the award.
"I am a blessed and fortunate teaching economist who has been recognized by my teaching peers," says Ullerich on his award. "Having been a student of a number of Wythe Laureates, it is very humbling to be able to include myself in their group."
The Wythe Award includes a $30,000 cash award and a sabbatical for the recipient to pursue professional development and/or research, endowed through a gift from BVU trustee Paul McCorkle of Sac City and his late wife, Vivian. The annual award is named for George Wythe, the educator who taught such famous fathers of the American Revolution as Thomas Jefferson, John Marshall, James Monroe and Henry Clay.
Ullerich was nominated for the Wythe Award by fellow professors, professional colleagues, alumni and current students. He has been nominated for the award five times, the first coming after only his third year of teaching at BVU. In one nomination letter, a former student made a compelling case.
"During my years as a BVU student, Stan constantly demonstrated to me that he was an exceptional communicator and gifted teacher," wrote Amanda DeMoss (SL '02). "As an education-thirsty student, I thrived on taking Dr. Ullerich's classes. Economics is probably not the most exciting subject for some to study, but Stan's teaching really energized me to want to learn and understand it more. He welcomed questions and always seemed to be able to 'turn the light bulb on' on topics I didn't seem to understand initially."
"My teaching philosophy has always been to advance my students' knowledge of the given subject while appealing to as many of their senses as I can," Ullerich says. "My real emphasis is on improving student's understanding why things are as they are, what control might they indeed have over their circumstances (individually and collectively) and the privileges and responsibilities each of them has as an employer, employee, consumer, saver, investor, or capitalist."
Obtaining his BA from BVU in 1982, Ullerich earned his PhD from Purdue in 1995 and has been a visiting Professor at Iowa State University and a visiting scholar/researcher at Waikato University in Hamilton NZ during the winter of 2000.
He is a four-time recipient of the Buena Vista Student Senate Faculty Member of the Year award and was entered into the "Who's Who Among College Teachers in 1996 and 1999.
Ullerich has not decided what to use his sabbatical on. "I've not seriously considered the myriad of opportunities," he says. "Although I will apply for and use the sabbatical leave in a way that will benefit my students by adding to my human capital, making me a better teacher, advisor, empiricist, and colleague."