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The Lambda Chi Teaching Award acknowledges excellence in teaching first-year or introductory undergraduate courses. The annual $1,500 award is bestowed on one full-time faculty member and is made possible by the men of the Lambda Chi fraternity.

USD Lambda Chi Teaching Award

Candidates for this award must be full-time faculty (but not necessarily tenure-track) who are employed by USD and meet all USD requirements to be a faculty member in good standing. “First-year” and “introductory” courses are those that provide an introduction to a discipline or field of study, or those courses that are typically taken by first-year students. If an applicant believes that their course fits one of those definitions, but it is not obvious based on title or course number, they will be allowed to explain how their course meets these guidelines within the application. Past recipients of this award shall not be selected for repeat awards for a period of three years. The criterion for this award are as follows:

  • Evidence that the instructor has clear learning outcomes, evidence that the students are meeting those outcomes, and evidence that critical reflection has been used to better understand and improve the course.
  • Evidence of innovation in the classroom through the use of imaginative teaching methods and high-impact teaching practices (undergraduate research, service learning, inclusive excellence, etc.).
  • Evidence of teaching and mentoring (both in and out of the classroom) that challenges learners to practice and develop critical thinking and independent learning abilities
  • Evidence that the instructor created a respectful and safe environment where learning can flourish for all students

2021 Winner

Lauren Freese, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Art, was honored as the recipient of the 2021 Lambda Chi Teaching Award.  Freese has been an Assistant Professor at USD since 2017.  Professor Freese teaches ARTH 211/HIST 211 “History of World Art I” and ARTH 212/HIST 212 “History of World Art II” along with other undergraduate and graduate courses including Art Museums: History/Practice, 20th Century Art History, and Independent Study.  Freese earned a B.A. in Art History & Business Administration from Hamline University in 2011, an M.A. in Art History from the University of Iowa in 2013, and a Ph.D. in American Art History from the University of Iowa in 2017.  

2020 Winner

Laura Kruger, an Instructor in the Division of Kinesiology and Sport Management, was honored as the recipient of the 2020 Lambda Chi Teaching Award. Kruger has been an Instructor in KSM for the past four years and was in an adjunct faculty role prior to that. She teaches all of the first year and introductory courses in the division, blending the disciplines of Exercise Science and Sport Management, including PE 180 Introduction to HPER, KSM 240 Organization and Administration of KSM, KSM 244 American Sport in the 21st Century, and KSM 280 Sport Governance. Kruger earned an M.Ed. in Health Education and Promotion from Kent State University in 2006 and a B.S. in Health Education (K-12) from Ashland University in 2004.

2019 Winner

Carol Cook Geu, a lecturer in the Department of Art, was honored as the recipient of the 2019 Lambda Chi Teaching Award. Geu has been a lecturer at USD for the last two years and an instructor at USD prior to that. Geu teaches undergraduate ART 101 Introduction to the Fine Arts along with other courses including Art Appreciation, Graphic Novels, Video Games, and History of World Art I and II. Geu earned an M.F.A. in Painting from USD in 1992 and a B.F.A. in Painting from the University of Nebraska in 1982.

2018 Winner

Aimee Sorensen, an instructor in the Department of Communication Studies, was honored as the recipient of the 2018 Lambda Chi Teaching Award. Sorensen has been an instructor at USD since 2007. Sorensen teaches undergraduate SPCM 101 Fundamentals of Speech along with other courses including Interpersonal Communication, Communication Signs, Symbols, & Society, Interpersonal Communication for Business & Professions, Advanced Public Speaking, Business & Professional Speaking, Communication in Interviewing and Relational Technologies. Sorensen earned an M.A. in Communication Studies from USD in 2005 and a B.S. in Communication Studies from USD in 2002.

2017 Winner

Jacob Kerby, Ph.D., an associate professor of biology, was honored as the recipient of the inaugural 2017 Lambda Chi Teaching Award. Kerby joined USD in 2008. Professor Kerby teaches undergraduate General Biology 151 along with other undergraduate and graduate courses, and is actively involved with student research and scholarship. Kerby earned his Ph.D. in ecology from the University of California-Davis in 2006. He earned an M.S. in biology from California State University-Northridge in 2003 and a B.S. in psychobiology from Pepperdine University in 1996.