DWU announces Clarke Award recipents

Paula Mazzer has been awarded the prestigious Clarke Award for Teaching Excellence.

The Clarke Award, first instituted in the 1996-97 year, was endowed by John and the late Vicki Clarke as an award to be given annually to a Dakota Wesleyan University faculty member for excellence in teaching, serving the needs of students and service to the university and community. The award is typically presented at Commencement in the spring. This year however, because of the postponement of Commencement due to COVID-19, the decision was made to present the award at a later time. Nominations are solicited from the DWU campus community. Dr. Mazzer is an associate professor in the biochemistry department. She’s described by her students as patient, and that her support exceeds expectations.

The Clarke family has generously decided to also create a companion Clarke Award for Staff Excellence that is making its inaugural debut this year. Kelly Thompson has been named the first, annual recipient of the award. Thompson is praised always by her colleagues for her professional expertise and exceptional problem-solving skills, but perhaps no more so than during the university’s abrupt transition to online learning during the spring 2020 semester.

Thompson’s expertise offered critical direction and support to faculty members during the transition to digital learning, and her ongoing professional development guidance has equipped faculty to develop resilient courses that can transition more readily from face-to-face to a remote format. Thompson has proven herself to be an adroit problem-solver, patient listener and coach, and strategic thinker.