Plesha wins Distinguished Teaching Award
Professor of Engineering Physics Michael Plesha is among 10 UW-Madison faculty to receive a 2014 Distinguished Teaching Award. The honor, given out since 1953, aims to recognize the finest educators at UW-Madison.
Through his efforts to modernize course materials and teaching techniques, Plesha has made a substantial and lasting impact on the College of Engineering.
Specifically, he has radically overhauled the UW-Madison’s statics course, which is normally the first quantitative course taken by engineering undergraduate students.
He shifted the course from a “dreary” requirement that negatively affected enrollment in engineering mechanics to a blended-learning course that incorporates videos, animations and creative assignments to help students get a taste for real-world engineering work. Plesha also wrote a new textbook about the topic, which is now used by institutions across the country.
“Professor Plesha epitomizes the concept of outstanding excellence in classroom teaching and is making a huge impact around the world with his textbooks,” says Engineering Physics Professor and Chair Jake Blanchard.
Chancellor Rebecca Blank will present the awards at a ceremony to be held in conjunction with the Teaching and Learning Symposium from 4:30 to 6 p.m. May 19 at Union South in Varsity Hall.