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Passionate about public health

Posted noon Friday, June 30, 2023

Keely Rees, chair and professor in the Public Health & Community Health Education Department, is one of seven UWL faculty to earn a 2023 Eagle Teaching Excellence Award.

Keely Rees wins 2023 Eagle Teaching Excellence Award

UW-La Crosse is home to many outstanding instructors who make a difference in students’ lives inside and outside the classroom. This year, UWL’s Provost Office received hundreds of nominations from students hoping to recognize their favorite faculty. From these nominations, a university committee selected seven faculty to receive 2023 Eagle Teaching Excellence Awards. The winners will be honored during Chancellor Joe Gow’s opening remarks for the fall semester. 

They are: 

This is the last of seven stories highlighting the winners. 

Keely Rees, Public Health & Community Health Education 

Started at UWL: 2003 

Courses: I am a full professor and chair in the Department of Public Health & Community Health Education. I teach a range of subjects including grant writing, policy and advocacy, women’s health, human sexuality, foundations of health education, program planning and evaluation, and motivational interviewing.  

Background: Prior to teaching at UWL, I was a professor at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and, before that, at the University of New Mexico. I have had a diverse professional background in the field of health education as a clinical exercise physiologist and a wellness consultant at hospitals. I’ve worked in community-based organizations and boards, and bring with me over two decades of experience in various roles such as researcher, community health educator and policy advocate at local, state and federal levels. 

Favorite part of teaching: My favorite part of teaching is witnessing the growth and development of my students. It is incredibly rewarding to see them grasp new concepts, gain critical thinking skills and apply their knowledge to real-world situations. I also enjoy fostering a supportive learning environment and engaging in discussions that encourage students to think critically and challenge their own perspectives. Overall, I find great joy in inspiring and empowering students to become future leaders in public health and community health education. 


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