Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA

News Release

April 01, 2005
2005 Excellence in Teaching Award

Southwestern is pleased to announce that Professor J. Kelly Strader has been selected to receive the 2005 Excellence in Teaching Award. The faculty created an annual Excellence in Teaching Award in 1997 to promote, encourage and support the interests of Southwestern faculty in teaching and to recognize distinguished achievement in the performance of the teaching mission by members of the faculty.

The Excellence in Teaching Award is based upon student and faculty nominations which provide written documentation that addresses stated criteria for excellence. While there is no single checklist for measuring such excellence, the stated criteria include: effects on student learning in the classroom, effects on student motivation and effects on learning outside the classroom. The Faculty Development Committee administers the process of publicizing the award, soliciting nominations, as well as reviewing and screening the nominations for submission to the Dean who is responsible for making the final selection.

The documentation that supported Professor Strader's nomination described the excellence of his teaching methods in a somewhat unorthodox manner – in the form of a slide show. It contained the following:

Inside the Classroom
I - initiates discussion, productive thorough discussions
N - never-ending review session, continuously reviews topics and relates new materials to older readings, keeps everything fresh
S - searches student minds and seizes attention
I - intense, expects and requires full participation of all students, insightful, students benefit from his awareness of where students become confused, thus the reviews
D - dissents to not reading dissents, emphasizes compare/contrasting reasoning of majority vs. dissent
E - earnest, effective educator, engaging
"We appreciate the tough love."

Outside the Classroom
O - outstanding and organized
U - understanding, acknowledges when "life" situations occur, allows for "redemption" if student admits to being unprepared
T - tidy office, inviting and orderly office environment, tons of office hours, organized appointments, allow students equal opportunity for office time, balance against students monopolizing office hours
S - smiles, approachable
I - integrates reading material topics with real-life examples
D - dialogue not monologue
E - encourages exploration of subject matter

M - "Motivator Strader"
O - organized, systematic, "blue-print" approach to presenting topics that quickly become complex, focuses on nuances of topics to ferret out clear understanding
T - time-saver, very efficient with class time, focused and direct
I - intelligent, inquisitive, demands analysis and thoughtful effort when asking questions, incredible command of subject matter
V - vigorous, passionate regarding subject matter, personally engaged with class without imposing personal viewpoints
A - analytical, authority over subject matter
T - to-the-point, precise, clear instruction, provides handouts and charts to clarify issues and demonstration relationship between issues/cases
O - on topic, excellent command of classroom
R - respect, inspires respect