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CSI General Education Teaching Award Winners Announced

Release Date: Tuesday 2023-05-09

TWIN FALLS, ID – The College of Southern Idaho is pleased to announce the winners of the fifth annual General Education Teaching Awards, celebrating exceptional teaching for non-majors. Faculty were nominated based on evidence of exemplary teaching, creativity in course design or implementation, and excellence in translating disciplinary methods of inquiry to non-majors. General education courses expose all College of Southern Idaho students, regardless of major, to a range of disciplines outside their specific area of study. General education courses make students into better citizens with broad perspectives on an ever-changing world. 

The following instructors received awards for their excellent teaching:


Written Communications:  Professor Kimberly Jones

Kim’s students speak to her ability to create meaning for them in courses where they least expect it.  She uses her general education courses as safe spaces where students can feel a sense of belonging and learn, not only the course content, but also the skills necessary to be successful in other college courses. Said one student, “By far my favorite course ever. I enjoyed every minute of it. I feel more confident with my writing.”


Oral Communication: Instructor Tandace Crane

Tandace is an outstanding example of an instructor who jumped in with both feet since being hired in 2019. She incorporates strategies such as gaming and team-building practices and works to make her classroom a safe and engaging space for students to explore while learning. She engages in collaborative teaching methods with others in her department and works to create a learning community within her classroom. Her department chair reports: “Tandace is one of the mostly highly sought instructors on campus… students vie for her classes, which fill quickly.”




Humanistic and Artistic Ways of Knowing: Professor Kim Prestwich

Kim makes CSI’s Humanities courses more relevant and applicable to students through hands-on activities and bringing diversity into the curriculum. Students leave her courses not only with more knowledge about the humanities, but a real and profound realization/appreciation of the important role the arts can play in their lives as evidenced by one student: “I loved the different styles for learning and doing the assignments. It gave me the opportunity to be creative and analytical. Lots of different views and angles to learn about the world. Opened my mind to new possibilities.”

Social and Behavioral Ways of Knowing: Associate Professor Matt Reynolds

Matt Reynolds is well-known for his kindness, compassion, and dedication for his students. Repeatedly, his students comment on how accessible Matt is and how he makes Sociology fun and interesting as he helps them meet their General Education Learning Outcomes. Matt’s classes are characteristically engaging, and his teaching strategies characteristically innovative. Matt's students build paper airplanes, complete Lego activities, and participate in relay races, all to promote concepts and cooperative learning. 




Scientific Ways of Knowing: Distinguished Professor Shawn Willsey

According to one student, “Shawn portrays his passion through the compassion he shows his students, his knowledge of Geology, and continues to inspire his students every day to take the step out of comfortability and push them into achieving a higher form of understanding. He deserves this award of Innovative Educator without a doubt due to his actions in the classroom but [also] his top tier rock dad jokes.” 


Institutionally Designated Ways of Knowing: Associate Professor Denyée Matthews

Denyée is always looking for ways to incorporate interactive and innovative learning in her classes. Students are encouraged to create conceptual maps and spaces that help them to develop new ways of understanding their landscapes. Using community-based learning, she connects her students with real-world spaces and creates opportunities for students to engage. She utilizes OER materials and participates each year in our annual general education portfolio review. 




“General education courses are challenging to teach and these instructors go above and beyond to connect relevant, engaging content to a wide variety of students with a wide variety of majors and interests,” said Tiffany Seeley-Case, Dean of General and Transfer Education. 

Five of the winners will become the College’s nominees for the statewide Idaho GEM Innovative Educator awards, which also will include nominees from other colleges and universities in Idaho. The statewide awards will be announced in October at the State of Idaho General Education Summit. 


Media Contact:
Tiffany Seeley-Case
Dean of General and Transfer Education | 208.732.6779