Joe G. Baker
The 2012 Outstanding Educator award is not the first of its kind for Dr. Joe Baker, who once before received the honor, in 2000, for his exceptional contribution to SUU's Department of Economics. Dr. Baker is an accomplished economist who began teaching managerial economics and finance at SUU in 1997. Prior to his arrival on campus, Dr. Baker was a research economist at the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education. Before that, he was an economist for the National Research Council in Washington, D.C. He has published several peer-reviewed articles and has served as referee for the Journal of Economic Education. Baker is the director of SUU's Center for Economic Education and sits on the board of directors for the Utah Council on Economic Education. He plays a lead role in developing curricula and teaching materials for SUU's business department. While at SUU, Baker has also been named as the 2004 Outstanding Professor and was awarded the Grace A. Tanner Distinguished Faculty Lecture in 2009. He consistently receives high marks from his students and is a deserving recipient of the Outstanding Educator title. A native of the American Southwest, Dr. Baker is a well-traveled outdoor enthusiast who enjoys hiking and exploring Utah's national parks.
David J. Berri
Dr. David Berri has been named among the "30 authors with the largest number of attributed articles in sports economics literature" and is widely published in peer-reviewed journals, print news sources and online news media. He also co-authored the book Stumbling on Wins: Two Economists Expose the Pitfalls on the Road to Victory in Professional Sports. A professor of economics and finance at SUU by day, Berri is also a frequent contributor to the Huffington Post and has recently been invited to join the guest writing staff at Freakonomics.com. Four papers authored by Dr. Berri have been accepted for publication in scholarly books, and he is past president of the North American Association of Sports Economics and remains active in the association and others related to the study of economics. Dr. Berri was selected as the 2012 Outstanding Scholar for his steadfast commitment to the study of economics, his impressive scholarly output and the honorable standing that he enjoys among his peers.
Betsey A. Bancroft
While some educators teach students to memorize facts and pass tests, assistant professor of biology Betsy Bancroft focuses her time and energy on her students—always looking for new ways to connect the course material with their interests and goals. What's more, she does it with a relative ease and relatability that makes students feel welcome and comfortable, leaving room for conversation and even humor in every class discussion. She is positive and encouraging, and her students succeed not because they have to but simply because they want to make their professor proud. Even those students who may not do as well as they had hoped in one of Professor Bancroft's classes still laud her merits, explaining that though challenging, they have never learned more in any class than they did under Dr. Bancroft's tutelage.
Randle J. Hart
Nothing is off limits in assistant professor of sociology Randle Hart's classes. If it's important to his students, it's important to him, and he is always willing to take extra time to give each student the help and attention they need. Professor Hart is passionate about his field of study, and he uses every available medium, from lectures and group discussions to hands-on activities and critical thinking exercises to ensure he is connecting with students in meaningful ways. Above all, Professor Hart simply wants to help students gain insight about themselves and the world around them, and he gives class time the appropriate weight and tone to carry learning into real world applications that students can understand and relate to. Though he demands a lot of his students, he is always willing to help, and his students again and again say they feel like they have left Professor Hart's class with not just a mentor, but a friend.
Associate professor of agriculture Lee Wood is patient and grounded—great traits .for someone who works with more than 60 young adults each semester as they care for and train horses. His students appreciate his calm encouragement as they work through trial and error to apply the things they are learning. They also notice and appreciate his broad working knowledge and put their complete trust in his advice, oftentimes well beyond the scope of any given in-class discussion. Above all else, Professor Wood aims to get to know each of his students individually. Said one current student, “I have to take a class from Professor Wood every semester since I first came to SUU. I know he genuinely cares about me, and he has so much knowledge to share and interesting things to teach. He is the kind of person who makes our work, even on the most stressful days, enjoyable.”