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Willamette University Professor Wins Award for Innovative Teaching


A journalism professor at the Willamette University has received the Donald H. Ecroyd award for using experiential learning projects helping students connect theory to practical application.

The National Communication Association (NCA) announced Cindy Koenig Richards an associate professor in the Department of Civic Communication and Media as the recipient of the prestigious award which is the highest honor for college professors.

The association has praised Richards’ use of civic engagement as a tool of learning and creating Debate Watch program attracting 800 participants in 2016 to discuss the televised U.S. presidential debates.

“Through project-based pedagogy like Debate Watch Richards guides students to a deeper understanding of rhetorical theory and a more sophisticated use of the digital media that surround and shape their lives,” the association said.

While she said, “I’m honored and humbled to be recognized by my peers, especially because there are so many talented educators in my discipline and in the Willamette community. I love working with students and colleagues to understand the power of communication and address challenging issues.”

In the past three years, Richards has become the third faculty member at the university to win a national award for excellence in teaching.

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