NWU Math Professor Named "Exemplary Teacher"
A Nebraska Wesleyan University math professor has been awarded the “Exemplary Teaching Award.”
Kristie Pfabe, professor of mathematics and computer science, was recognized October 2 with the award, which is presented annually by the Division of Higher Education of the Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church.
Pfabe was honored for her excellence in teaching, civility to colleagues and students, and a strong commitment to value-centered education. In nominating Pfabe for the award, students noted that she challenges them to expand their grasp of mathematics in a safe and inviting classroom environment. Students also appreciate her personal interest in them and how they are doing as well as her quirky humor.
Pfabe came to Nebraska Wesleyan in 2000. She has served as Chair of the Mathematics and Computer Science Department since 2011, and served as faculty president from 2008-2010. She was named the Anderson-Trimble-Mauer Endowed Chair in Mathematics and Computer Science for 2011-2014. Last year she won the Kenneth Holder Award. In addition to her tenure as president-elect and president of the faculty, Pfabe has served on many committees to address curriculum changes, workload, and gender issues.
Pfabe has taught English in Nicaragua and has accompanied NWU students to Queretaro, Mexico for a Spanish language program. She also participated in the Global Service Learning trip to Malawi, Africa.
Beyond the classroom, Pfabe has a keen commitment to mentoring students, especially women in mathematics. She has taught week-long courses for high school girls in the All Girls, All Math Program. She has also organized Math Night at Elliot Elementary School.
In the community, Pfabe has played violin in the Lincoln Symphony for 20 years. She also plays for a wide variety of Sunday services, weddings and other events. She is an active member and former president of the Nebraska Association of Teachers of Mathematics.
“She is a devoted colleague, teacher and member of the community whose actions reveal integrity and a collaborative spirit,” said one award nominator.
The “Exemplary Teaching Award” is presented to those who demonstrate excellence in teaching, civility and concern for students and colleagues, commitment to value-centered education, and service to students, the institution, the community or church.
Nominations are sent to the Faculty Development Committee, which makes a recommendation to the provost.