Posted 8:46 a.m. Monday, June 14, 2021

Lisa Giddings, an associate professor of economics, is one of six UWL faculty to earn this year's Eagle Teaching Excellence Award.

Lisa Giddings wins 2021 Eagle Teaching Excellence Award

During the 2020-21 academic year, UWL faculty were challenged like never before. From developing online courses to supporting students to dealing with the emotional weight of the pandemic, instructors in every department rose to the occasion. This year, UWL’s Provost Office received hundreds of nominations from students hoping to recognize their favorite instructors.

From these nominations, a university committee selected six faculty to receive 2021 Eagle Teaching Excellence Awards. The winners will be highlighted on UWL’s homepage in the coming weeks, along with being honored during Chancellor Joe Gow’s opening remarks for the fall semester.

They are:

  • Merideth Garcia, English/English Education
  • Brian Kumm-Schaley, Recreation Management & Therapeutic Recreation
  • Lisa Giddings, Economics
  • Amy Nicodemus, Archaeology & Anthropology
  • Anthony Chergosky, Political Science & Public Administration
  • Kathryn (Kat) Skemp Moran, Theatre Arts

This is the second in a series of stories highlighting the winners.

Lisa Giddings, Economics

Started at UWL: 2000

Courses: I regularly teach introductory microeconomics ECO110 and intermediate microeconomic theory ECO308, but have taught ECO336 Women in the U.S. Economy. In the fall of 2021, I will be teaching ECO333 Behavioral Economics. I hope to teach our course on the economics of sports as my recent research has focused on women in baseball (Think the movie “League of Their Own”) and women in hockey (Did you know there is a professional women's hockey league with five teams in America and Canada?).

Background: Prior to coming to UWL, I was an adjunct professor at Trinity College in Washington, D.C., and finishing up my studies at American University. Trinity College is an all-women’s college that serves mainly African American students. This was an amazing experience for me, serving a population comprised mainly of women of color. The school was small, so there were only two of us in the economics department, and we would each teach three different courses every semester to only 10 or 12 students in the classroom. The environment allowed me to learn so much about the experiences of people in minority groups and appreciate struggles students from underrepresented groups have in college. It also helped me develop a more interactive way of teaching and broadened my course repertoire.

Favorite part of teaching: I have two favorite parts of teaching. The first is creating authentic and lasting relationships with students. I really missed that in the online environment during COVID-19 and tried to improve the situation by holding synchronous classes on Collaborate Ultra. My students and I recreated that in-person connection that normally occurs at UWL by becoming “room raters” on our backgrounds, and by creatively relying on the chat function and doing experiments together. For example, choose a number between 0 and 100. The winner is the person who chooses the number that is closest to the average of all the submissions multiplied by 0.67. The winner gets a chocolate sent to their house, but it was a pale comparison to the real thing. My second passion is creating engaging pedagogy and cooperative learning experiences that spark student motivation and interest in economics. I have become particularly interested in learning about why women and other underrepresented groups shy away from economics and how to combine a safe and welcoming classroom environment with pedagogical strategies that can rectify this in our discipline.