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Curriculum and Instruction News

UW-Madison alum Gillen receives Wurtz Award for Teaching Excellence

October 04, 2016
UW-Madison alumnus Mark Gillen has been named the recipient of the 2016-17 Dr. Keith G. Wurtz Award for Teaching Excellence at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. 

Gillen is the interim associate dean in the College of Education and Professional Studies, the department chair of Counseling and School Psychology, and program director of the School Counseling Program at UW-River Falls. Gillen joined the College of Education and Professional Studies faculty in 2005. 

Mark Gillen
The Wurtz Award "recognizes outstanding and innovative teachers who have made exceptional contributions to the university and to the community." Recipients have displayed innovative and collaborative techniques in both teaching and learning.

“Truly, Dr. Gillen doesn’t just teach classes. He isn’t just a great teacher. He weaves together a skillful and detailed mosaic of collaboration, innovation, and best practice across multiple levels of program administration and instruction,” Caroline Baker, associate professor of Counseling and School Psychology at UWRF said in her nomination letter. “All of this is done for the preparation of quality school counselors, and it shows through our reputation, high number of applications, and a solid rate of employment for our graduates. This big picture approach, while maintaining the details, is why Dr. Gillen deserves the Keith Wurtz Award for Teaching Excellence.”

"As I have shared with many others, being nominated by my fellow faculty members and a former student/peer means more to me than I can describe," said Gillen. "I am proud that our program has accomplished so much by collaborating with hundreds of school district employees while impacting untold numbers of students, parents and community members. This award is representative of all of the fine work that we do in the counseling program to prepare students to interact with these groups on behalf of UWRF.”

Gillen received his bachelor's degree in elementary education from UW-Madison's School of Education in 1980.  He received a Ph.D. from the University of Arkansas in 2004 and taught at the University of Chattanooga before coming to UW-River Falls. 

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