Distinguished Teacher

2019 - Claire McCarty

Claire McCarty, professor of management, has been named the 2019 UW-River Falls Distinguished Teacher. The Distinguished Teacher Award, initiated in 1965, is the most prestigious honor bestowed on campus.

Chosen by graduating seniors and recent graduates, distinguished teaching recipients represent talented and caring educators – teachers who make a difference.

"Professor McCarty pushes students to achieve their full potential,” said one nominator. “She is eager to connect students and get them involved in internships, student organizations and study abroad opportunities while ensuring that they feel supported throughout the entire process.”

McCarty earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and anthropology from UW-Madison and her doctorate in labor and human resources/organizational behavior from The Ohio State University in Columbus.

The Distinguished Teacher Award recognizes excellence in both mentoring as well as teaching, something formers students spoke to in letters of nomination.

“Before coming to UWRF, I never imagined I would have family-like support from my professors," said one student. "However, I quickly learned that my professors were my biggest cheerleaders. I can tell that Professor McCarty truly listens and cares about what I have to say.”

McCarty has been a resident of River Falls since 2000, when she began teaching in the College of Business and Economics. Her research interests include leadership, recognition, ethics and case research in human resource management.

As the coordinator of Semester Abroad: Europe, McCarty has a goal to help students see the world. She has participated in Experience Scotland, Experience China and has led three classes through Vietnam. 

“One constant, throughout my time here at UWRF, has been the meaningful relationships I’ve developed with students," she said. "I’ve kept in touch with many – now lawyers, HR managers, business owners, and raising families. I try to share my enthusiasm for knowledge, for self-examination and for seeing the world. And it’s a two-way street – they keep me grounded and current. It’s a really rewarding job.”

McCarty will be honored on Sept. 17 during a reception on campus. A plaque of her likeness will be added to the wall of distinguished teacher honorees in the Wyman Education Building. As the recipient of the Distinguished Teacher Award, she will deliver an address at fall commencement in December.

For more information, email or call 715-425-3335.

For a history of the award and to view a list of previous distinguished teachers, visit

Claire McCarty