Faculty and Academic Staff Development

Paul B. and Robert Dykstra Faculty Excellence Award


Supporting faculty excellence, the Paul B. and Robert Dykstra Faculty Excellence Award endowment supports one faculty award per academic year.  The award is designed to support faculty research, creative and scholarly activity.  It is intended to be awarded to a tenured or tenure-track faculty member who is either currently involved in a project or has proposed a research, creative or scholarly project. 


Robert Dykstra was named the University of Wisconsin River Fall Distinguished Alumnus of 1998.  A 1957 elementary education and guidance graduate, Dykstra earned both master and doctorate degrees in educational psychology and education from the University of Minnesota.  Dykstra’s prolific work, spanning three decades from the mid-60’s to the early 90’s, includes research that continues to be universally recognized as among the most important ever conducted in his field.  In 1967, Dykstra and colleague Guy Bond published the groundbreaking study, “The Cooperative Research Program in First Grade Reading Instruction,” commonly known as “The First Grade Studies.”  This national investigation remains the largest and most thorough study ever completed of beginning reading.

Recent honors for Dykstra include being elected to the International Reading Hall of Fame in 1996. Along with assuming various leadership positions at the local and national and international levels, Dykstra continues to remember his ties to the University of Wisconsin River Falls.

Paul B. Dykstra is the highly successful son of Robert Dykstra serving as the chief operating officer of Viad Corporation, and he serves as a member of the Board of Directors. Viad Corporation is an S&P SmallCap 600 company.  Major subsidiaries include GES Exposition Services at Las Vegas, Exhibit group/Giltspur of Chicago, Brewster Transport Company Limited of Banff, Alberta, Canada, and Glacier Park, Inc of Phoenix. 


  • A colleague must nominate the faculty member.
  • To nominate a faculty member, the application and supporting letters must be submitted in electronic format by attaching them to an e-mail and sending them to The e-mail subject line must include the Excellence Award name and last name of the nominee. Applications that are not submitted following these directions will not be considered. After the application and supporting letters have been sent via e-mail they can be saved for your records. Nomination applications will be due no later than 4:30 p.m. on March 1 of each academic year.
    • The supporting letters will include a letter from you (the nominator) and two additional support letters (limit 2 pages each) from colleagues addressing the criteria and efforts that the nominee show as contributing significantly to research, creative, or scholarly activity at UWRF.


One tenured or tenure-track faculty member will be awarded each year.   The award will be announced at the fall opening meeting each academic year.  The recipient of the award will receive $1,000.  


Nomination         Application Due:   March 20

View Nomination Application 

For More Information, Contact:

Wes Chapin
Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

o: North Hall 104
t: 715-425-0629

Past Recipients

2011 - David Rusterholz 

2012 - Brian Smith   
(Plant and Earth Science)  

2013 - Travis Tubre 

2014 - Sylvia Kehoe   
(Animal and Food Science)

2015 - Mark Bergland

2016 - Cyndi Kernahan

2017 - Paige Miller
(Sociology and Criminology

Contact Us

Faculty and Academic Staff Development
M-F, 7:45 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
104 North Hall