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Photo of distinguished Widener professors

Excellence in Teaching

Three professors from different academic disciplines at Widener University’s Main Campus have been honored with the University’s inaugural designation of Distinguished University Professor. 

The award was created as part of the university’s strategic plan to recognize faculty members “for academic excellence in teaching, in scholarship that is recognized nationally and internationally and in leadership,” said Provost Stephen Wilhite. This year’s recipients are Dr. Betsy Crane from the Center for Human Sexuality Studies, Dr. Scott Van Bramer from the Department of Chemistry, and Dr. Stephen Madigosky from the Department of Environmental Science.

In 2007, Dr. Crane joined Widener as professor and director of thegraduate programs in human sexuality. During her time as director she was a significant part of the program’s growth, gaining four faculty members and enrolling more than 350 students. She says she has enjoyed seeing her students go out into the world to work in this area “that’s such a tender part of our lives.”

Dr. Van Bramer is the 2014 recipient of the Fitz Dixon Innovation in Teaching Award for his project involving structured feedback to enhance student learning in chemistry courses. He explains that his teaching method involves giving students a question and letting them try to answer the question. “If they don’t answer it well the first time, I give them feedback on their first try so that they can change and improve what they did and try again,” said Van Bramer.

The third recipient, Dr. Madigosky, has been part of Widener’s faculty since 1989. He regularly leads students on international trips to Costa Rica and Peru where they participate in service and learn more about ecological issues. Madigosky says he feels the trips help the students “stretch their ideas and gives them global perspective.”

The three professors will hold the designation for three years as they continue their remarkable teaching efforts at Widener University.