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Five Idaho State University faculty honored as 2017 Outstanding Master Teachers

April 5, 2017

POCATELLO – Five Idaho State University faculty members have been chosen to receive 2017 Outstanding Master Teacher awards.

They will be honored at a reception April 11 and one will be selected for the ISU Distinguished Teacher Award and will be recognized at commencement on May 6.

The faculty members receiving these awards are: Justin Stover, assistant professor, Department of History; Catherine Black, senior lecturer, Department of Biological Sciences; Janet Loxterman, associate professor, Department of Biological Science; Kellee Kirkpatrick, assistant professor, Department of Political Science; Thomas Klein, professor, Department of English and Philosophy.

“Teaching is the cornerstone of the institution,” said Laura Woodworth-Ney, executive vice president and provost for academic affairs, “and we are very fortunate that these master teachers work in ISU classrooms, labs, and throughout the University community.”

Biographies of honorees follow.

Justin Stover portrait.• Justin StoverStover began teaching in 2008. His first appointment was as an adjunct distance learning lecturer with Sinclair Community College of Dayton, Ohio, which he served concurrent to his doctoral studies at Trinity College Dublin.

Stover joined the ISU Department of History in 2012, teaching on the Idaho Falls campus as an assistant lecturer. There, he restructured existing upper-division curricula, while also imaginatively delivering survey, historical methods, and seminar writing courses through iPad, hybrid and distance learning mediums.

Stover also developed a history of modern Ireland to cultivate student interest in upper-division world, comparative, and non-U.S. history. This course featured numerous primary source documents from several foreign archives, prompting the development of students’ critical research skills.

In 2014, Stover relocated to the Pocatello campus as assistant professor of transnational history. He developed a global history of the First World War to coincide with the conflict’s ongoing centenary commemoration. The course attracted various undergraduate and graduate students from history and other disciplines.

Most recently, he has developed a global survey of war and revolution since 1500, and a graduate pro-seminar on the history of modern violence. In addition to teaching, Stover has overseen numerous student internships and independent study projects; he has also guided University Honors Program students, and was named a “Most Influential Professor” in 2016. Moreover, Stover acts as the Department of History graduate director, overseeing students in the Historical Resources Management Master of Arts program, and has successfully directed student theses on a variety of topics.

Portrait of Cathrine BlackCatherine Black – Catherine Black is a senior lecturer in the Department of Biological Sciences. She has enjoyed teaching ever since she started serving as a graduate teaching assistant for the ISU Department of Biological Sciences in 1993. She has been involved with undergraduate instruction in Idaho Falls since the construction of the Center for Higher Education building was completed there in 1994. She became a full-time faculty member in 1998, and she teaches classes at the 1100, 2200, 3300, and 4400 levels. Black has been instrumental in growing the Idaho Falls program and creating a Bachelor of Science in Biology program on the Idaho Falls campus.Black has a reputation for setting high expectations for her students, but providing them with the tools to meet those expectations. She creates hands-on activities to assist beginning students and meaningful student-centered labs at all levels. She is well known for her off-campus field trips in general ecology, making connections that cannot be achieved in the classroom. She engages students and encourages them to challenge themselves by stressing problem solving, and critical thinking. She frequently works with undergraduate students to develop their own research projects.

Black also advises students extensively by creating course planning for graduation, by providing feedback on applications for scholarships and professional or graduate programs, and by conducting practice interviews for these programs. In addition, she provides many service learning opportunities for her students by bringing science to K-12 students in the community.           

Portrait of Janet LoxtermanJanet Loxterman – Loxterman is an associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences. She has been teaching introductory biology for majors since 2003, and she teaches upper division classes in genetics, organic evolution, population biology and graduate teaching seminar.Loxterman uses her research program in conservation genetics to provide a current understanding of contemporary issues in biology and current topics of investigation. She is a mentor to graduate and undergraduate students in her research lab, and is the faculty liaison for ISU’s Early College Program for high school biology teachers.

To get students interested in science, Loxterman teaches with excitement about biology and infuses her teaching with enthusiasm and a sense of humor. Loxterman’s goal is to engage and challenge students to think about course material in a variety of ways, applying knowledge to new situations using lecture, group assignments, and technology; both in and out of the classroom. She is well known among her students for having them ‘act out’ biological processes in class to help visualize and understand how they work.

Loxterman seeks to provide students with conceptual knowledge and the ability to find and interpret scientific evidence, develop their own opinions, and ultimately become scientifically literate. Her aim is to empower students to ask questions and help create a body of students that formulate their own ideas and conclusions about scientific issues.

Kellee Kirkpatrick portrait.Kellee Kirkpatrick – Kirkpatrick earned her Ph.D. in political science from the University of Kansas where she concentrated her studies in American politics and public policy. She also earned a graduate certificate in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies from KU. Kirkpatrick has a diverse educational background including a master's degree in strategic communications and undergraduate degrees in public relations, print journalism and vocal performance.Kirkpatrick's research agenda examines issues of women’s health and reproductive policy and specifically focuses on questions that concern how and why governments regulate private social issues. Her research often explores how policy evolves at the intersection of morality and economic interests. Because these issues are often the focus of public attention, her research examines how interest group activity and media frames influence public opinion, political behavior, and the policy process. Kirkpatrick has published her work in academic journals including Policy Studies Journal, Politics, Groups and Identities, and Climate.

Kirkpatrick has extensive teaching experience at several universities including the University of Kansas, Texas A&M University, the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and now Idaho State University. She has taught courses in American politics, state politics, public policy, research methods, media and politics, women in politics, health policy, reproductive politics, and grant writing. She enjoys engaging students in the research process and has co-authored several conference papers and journal articles with her undergraduate and graduate students.

She is currently the adviser of the Political Science Club and the Alpha Phi Chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honor society.

Thomas Klien portrait•Thomas Klein – Klein has been teaching in the Department of English and Philosophy since 2000. He has taught more than a dozen courses, ranging from English composition to seminars on medieval women mystics. Whether teaching writing or literary analysis, he enjoys all of his courses, finding that there are always occasions for shared inquiry and discovery. He is particularly interested in ways that students can re-experience the past, recognizing its commonalities as well as its strangeness.

Klein considers himself a philologist, literally “a lover of language,” and he works to bring students around to this way of seeing the world, especially through his courses on Old English and history of English language. His particular area of research involves early medieval writing, and his recent work has included articles on Anglo-Saxon riddles and inscribed objects.

Since January 2016, Klein has served as director of English Undergraduate Studies. He has made recruiting to the major an area of emphasis, traveling widely to area schools and colleges. He is proud of the fact that English enrollments have remained strong. He has also been working to advance the experience of undergraduate students and help them with their eventual careers.

Klein mentors many graduate students through dissertation projects and teaching internships. He feels fortunate to be able to work with students and colleagues at ISU, and he loves the outdoor adventures that living in Idaho makes possible.