Kernahan receives Dykstra Faculty Excellence award at UW-River Falls

Cyndi KernahanSeptember 22, 2016 -- Cyndi Kernahan, psychology professor and assistant dean for teaching and learning in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, has been named the recipient of the 2016-17 Paul B. and Robert Dykstra Faculty Excellence Award.

"Cyndi presents an excellent example of the application of high-impact practices that support our students both educationally and in terms of professional development," said Travis Tubre, professor and chair of the Psychology Department, in his nomination letter.

The Dykstra award is designed to support faculty research, creative and scholarly activity and is 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.

"She exemplifies what a scholar should be," said Tricia Davis, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, in her nomination letter. "She is enthusiastic about her research, shows dedication to scholarly work with undergraduate students, and is committed to helping others engage in the scholarship of teaching and learning. She is deeply passionate about good evidence and using the scholarship of teaching to improve teaching/learning that I truly believe that she deserves this recognition."

Kernahan, of River Falls, is a social psychologist, teaching Social Psychology, the Psychology of Prejudice and Racism, Careers in Psychology, and Senior Seminar. As a specialist in racism and prejudice, she  regularly conducts research (in collaboration with other faculty and students) that examines the ways in which students learn and learn best with respect to this controversial topic. She regularly publishes articles and book chapters on the teaching of race.

Kernahan also coordinates a number of faculty development programs for other instructors, including a workshop for new faculty and for those teaching in the new First Year Adventure program (for students in the College of Arts and Sciences). She has an additional appointment at the UW System level as co-director of the Wisconsin Teaching Fellows and Scholars program. In all of these programs, Kernahan tries to help instructors think deeply about the learning goals they have for their students and to construct evidence-based solutions for teaching and learning challenges.

For more information on the award, email or call 715-425-0629.

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