Ayers receives teaching excellence award 

September 12, 2019 – University of Wisconsin-River Falls Associate Professor Melanie Ayers has been named the recipient of the 2019 Keith G. Wurtz Award for Teaching Excellence.

The Wurtz Award recognizes outstanding and innovative teachers who have made exceptional contributions to the university and to the community. Recipients demonstrate “trailblazing” innovative approaches to teaching, display scholarship of teaching and learning, innovative use of technology, curriculum development, assessment approaches and outreach and partnerships with collaborators on or off campus.   

Peers who nominated Ayers described her record as an educator as being “beyond outstanding.” 

“I am consistently impressed with the sophistication of her students’ studies and their ability to talk about research fluently and confidently,” said one nominator. “Her innovative approaches to teaching have been an inspiration to me. Melanie is the model recipient of an award for innovation in teaching.”

Ayers holds a Ph.D. in developmental psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

She earned her master’s degree in developmental psychology from the University of California, and her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Oregon.

In congratulating Ayers on her award, UW-River Falls Provost David Travis emphasized comments from colleagues who described her as a student-centered educator, a mentor, a trailblazer in the use of instructional strategies and an innovator in her approaches to assessment. 

“I appreciate the tremendous energy, creativity and thought Professor Ayers has invested in her work as a teacher and scholar at UW-River Falls,” said Travis. “She is making a significant difference in the academic trajectory of our students.”

For more information about the Wurtz Award, email or call 715-425-0629.


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