Weber State faculty receive prestigious award for teaching excellence

OGDEN, Utah – Following a five-year tradition, Weber State University awarded the 2023 Presidential Teaching Excellence Award to 12 of its top teachers. 

The award is based on nominations from students, faculty and staff who recognize the outstanding efforts of WSU professors from diverse fields of study – from the arts to the sciences. 

Weber State President Brad Mortensen lent a personal touch to the recognition by surprising professors in their classrooms with news of the award. 

“For so many of our faculty, teaching is more than a profession, it’s a lifelong passion,” Mortensen said. “These incredible professors are proving every day how committed they are to students, and this award is just one way to thank them for everything they do to make Weber State great.”

This year, the Presidential Teaching Excellence Awards were presented to the following faculty: 

  • Daniel Clark, Microbiology

  • Brian Cottle, Health Administrative Services

  • Andrea Garavito Martinez, Teacher Education

  • Jessica Greenberg, Performing Arts

  • Andrew Keinsley, Economics

  • John Kelly, Automotive

  • Diane Leggett-Fife, Nursing

  • Louise Moulding, Teacher Education

  • Melissa NeVille Norton, Nursing

  • Kristin Rabosky, Physics

  • Kathryn Sperry, Psychological Sciences

  • Sarah Vause, English

Automotive professor John Kelly has been with WSU since 1989 and serves as program chair and manager of the automotive technology program. When he first saw Mortensen walking toward his class to present the award, Kelly admits his first thought was “He must be lost.” 

“I love teaching and always make extra efforts to enhance learning in my classes," Kelly said. “I don’t know who nominated me for this award, but I’m very honored to receive it. It means that someone noticed my efforts.”

Thanks to support from generous donors to WSU, each winner receives a $5,000 award, either as a cash stipend or to enhance their teaching through professional development, curriculum development, research or acquiring equipment and technology for their classroom.

This year’s winners join a prestigious list of more than 50 recipients since the awards launched in 2018. The 2023 awardees will be formally honored at the Thrive Symposium Awards Banquet on April 7.


Staff report, Marketing and Communications


Bryan Magaña, public relations director