UW Oshkosh: Grieb named Wisconsin Professor of the Year by Carnegie, CASE

Kenneth Grieb, (920) 424-1291

OSHKOSH – University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh international studies and history professor Kenneth Grieb is the 2004 Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching Wisconsin Professor of the Year.

It’s the latest in a long list of honors for the popular but demanding faculty member at the 11,000-student campus.

The award sponsored by the Carnegie Foundation and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) has honored top professors in the nation since 1981 for their extraordinary dedication to teaching, passion for education, commitment to students and use of innovative instructional methods.

There’s more on the award at www.carnegiefoundation.org/POY.

“Dr. Grieb embodies the noblest qualities of teaching,” said UW-Oshkosh Chancellor Richard H. Wells. “He seeks to bring out the best in every student, not only in the classroom but also through his tireless efforts to provide them advice and counsel and his leadership of our internationally renowned Model United Nations team.”

Grieb has won many awards. They include the prestigious UW System Regents Teaching Excellence Award in 1998, the Tribute to Excellence Award from the Wisconsin State League of Women Voters in 1997, the SNC Corp. Endowed Professorship in 1993, and the John McNaughton Rosebush Professorship, the highest award for teaching faculty at UW-Oshkosh, in 1983.

The UW-Oshkosh Model U.N. team he has directed since 1975 has a record unmatched by any other school at the National Model U.N. competition that draws 3,000 participants from four continents each year to U.N. headquarters in New York.

But Grieb says it’s the students that matter the most to him. In June, before a reunion of alumni from award-winning UW-Oshkosh Model United Nations teams, he reflected on how the program has benefited students.

“Many have become lawyers, earned doctorates and taken important positions in national and international agencies,” he said. “But when they began in the program, I believed in many of them more than they believed in themselves.”

One of those students was Oshkosh attorney Jessica King, who said she lacked self-confidence when she began at UW-Oshkosh. Under Grieb’s tutelage, she became a campus leader, traveled to Bangladesh on a grant and studied at Cambridge University in England. She graduated in 1998 with a triple major in international studies, history and political science.

Grieb helped her believe in herself, she said, and “my potential to be great.”

“Students of his method of combined academic and extracurricular activities are not only well-educated, but they also learn skills that allow them to participate as leaders in their workplace and community,” said King, a Rosendale native.

Courtney Perlino, a native of Cary, Ill., who graduated in 2002, decided to enroll at UW-Oshkosh instead of Northwestern University because of Grieb and the UW-Oshkosh international studies program.

“Dr. Grieb not only teaches his students, he inspires them and believes in them so much that they achieve what others do not find possible,” said Purlino, who works for the American Public Health Association in Washington, D.C., where she also is attending grad school at George Washington University.

“Despite being in the classes of world-renowned professors and policymakers in my field, I do not know if I will ever have another opportunity to be as inspired or learn as much as I did under his instruction,” she said.

Appleton native Bret Bergst, who graduated in 1999, makes presentations worldwide for the World Conservation Union, and before that for the World Resources Institute.

“His innovative teaching techniques, dedication to students and tireless work outside the classroom are a model for professors around the country,” he said.

Chad Damro, codirector of the graduate program in international and European politics at the University Edinburgh in England, agrees.
“Dr. Grieb is unique among all of the professors with whom I have had the privilege to work,” said Damro, a native of Green Bay who graduated in 1995.