1996 - Ted Alsop
Writer John Steinbeck believed, "Finding three real teachers in a lifetime is the very best of luck." Students enrolled in professor Ted Alsop's classes know within minutes of the first meeting that the Fates have smiled broadly upon them. They have just met one of the three finest teachers Steinbeck supposes they'll ever encounter.
Alsop, who joined Utah State 's natural resources faculty in 1984, was cited for teaching excellence and outstanding involvement with undergraduates. His teaching load is heavy, his classes are large and his jokes many as he guides students through the basic precepts of climatology, physical geography and map interpretation among other subjects.
Whether Alsop is pointing out questions to be included on the final or hiking up a pants leg as the punch line to a joke, he is clearly in command.
"I use humor to keep students on edge," Alsop said. "Jokes and anecdotes tangential to the subject matter reduce the barrier between us."
With literally hundreds of students before him, Alsop creates a conversational classroom and encourages students to participate in informal discussions in which he is the "principal discussant."
Alsop said, "I think unbounded enthusiasm for the subject matter combined with an uncompromising endorsement to the students' capabilities and personal engagement on my part creates optimal conditions for student enlightenment."