Gustavus Adolphus College Professor of Psychological Sciences, Dr. Lauren Hecht, was named the 2022 recipient of the Edgar M. Carlson Award for Distinguished Teaching during the College’s commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 21. The award is the College’s highest honor for teaching excellence.
“In graduate school, after a long, fortuitous journey, supported by my family and undergraduate and graduate faculty mentors, I finally discerned my career as a college professor. From that moment on, I strived to be the best teacher and mentor for students, to be like those who received this honor before me,” Hecht said. “Across campus, the professors do an incredible job, and with every graduation, we recognize one of them. I remember them. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined joining their ranks.
Political science professor Dr. Kate Knutson, 2020 Carlson Prize winner, introduced Hecht at the launch event.
“I have observed this person teaches more than once and every time I review a program and walk into his class I am inspired by creativity, intentionality and Warning to the details that go into every course and every class session,” Knutson said in his announcement before revealing Hecht as the winner. “I to see students test ideas they have read in preparation for the lesson and listen engaging them in lively discussions about the material; you can almost to taste the enthusiasm for learning that is the direct result of this professor’s efforts to create a safe, supportive and rigorous learning environment.
Hecht is a cognitive psychologist who studies sensation, perception and attention. In addition to her teaching and research mentorship of undergraduate students at Gustavus, she is currently Director of the First Term Seminar Program. Hecht’s service on the Curriculum Committee, Faculty Development Committee, and Academic Operations Committee of the Gustavus Faculty has given him an in-depth understanding of College operations and the impact that decisions have. on students, and she continually uses this information to advocate for processes that support faculty mentorship. and student engagement.
“Gustavus is filled with great teachers who care about the students, so what defines [Dr. Hecht] a share?” Knutson continued.”[She] doesn’t just teach students. A colleague describes her as “an expert in creating and sharing pedagogical approaches to help us become better teachers”. In fact, I would go so far as to say that many teachers see her as the go-to person for questions about teaching, advising and understanding the program, especially as we transition to a new teaching program. general over the past two years. . As a colleague notes, [Lauren] has “broad tentacles of influence on campus,” and she has used that influence to make us all better teachers and counselors. »
“I am fortunate to be at a college that recruits students who value intellectual curiosity and are willing to invest in their learning. Students are the reason I succeed. When I ask them to join me in trying a new method of teaching or mentoring, they agree. In case of failure, they forgive. And when that succeeds, they grow,” Hecht said. “Every member of the Gustavus community faced at least one challenge this year – perhaps it was the realization that the routines forged three years ago had become insufficient, or adapting to a different system or procedure. Winning this award, this year, is a recognition of the resilience, not only of my own, but also of the courage and determination of the Gusties I have worked with on campus, of the students at staff to colleagues.
Hecht majored in psychology (with honors) and philosophy during her undergraduate experience at Albion College in Michigan. She holds a doctorate in psychology from the University of Iowa. A member of the Gustavus community since 2010, Hecht previously taught classes at Grinnell College and the University of Iowa. Six of its former research students have obtained (or are obtaining) their doctorates, while many others have obtained graduate degrees in fields ranging from psychology and public health to food sciences and theology.
The Edgar M. Carlson Award was established by the Gustavus Board of Trustees in 1971 to honor former President Edgar Carlson for his years of distinguished leadership and in recognition of his commitment to academic excellence. Gustavus faculty, staff, administrators, and students nominate faculty for this award, and each beginning year a faculty member, selected by the provost based on recommendations from previous recipients, is honored for their skills. and his exceptional efficiency as an instructor.
Recent Carlson Award Recipients
2022: Lauren Hecht, psychological sciences
2021: Phil Bryant, English
2020: Kate Knutson, political science
2019: Margaret Bloch Qazi, Biology
2018: Greg Kaster, History
2017: Pamela Kittelson, Biology
2016: Eric Carlson, History
2015: David Obermiller, History
2014: Matt Panciera, Classics
2013: Rebecca Fremo, English
2012: Alisa Rosenthal, Political Science
2011: Barbara Zust, nursing
2010: Leila Brammer, communication studies
A complete list of past Carlson Prize winners dating back to 1971 is available online.
Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communications JJ Akin