Eldon J. Gardner Teacher of the Year Award 


The Eldon J. Gardner Teacher of the Year award is given each year to recognize and promote excellence in teaching. Other scholarly activity such as research and publication records may be considered in the selection process, but the main emphasis is on teaching excellence.

Each dean will appoint a committee comprised of students, faculty, and administrative representation to select an outstanding teacher from the college. From the nine college nominees, the Faculty Evaluation Committee will select the Eldon J. Gardner Teacher of the Year. The award recipient will be announced at the annual University Faculty Awards Event held in March and recognized at the Provost & Chief Academic Officer's Commencement Dinner and the Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony. The award recipient receives a $3,000 award, and the college nominees receive a $1,500 award.

 Congratulations to the 2023 College Teacher of the Year Nominees!

Sarah Tulane

Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services | Human Development & Family Studies

View Previous Award Recipients


The nominee must be serving in a benefitted faculty position. Nominees must have had a minimum of a six-credit annual teaching assignment at USU, including at least one undergraduate course per year, for at least three consecutive years.

Criteria for selection of nominees may include:

  • Dedication to students and meaningful student outcomes, as demonstrated particularly in the candidate’s teaching philosophy
  • Evidence of student learning
  • Creative and/or evidence-based teaching innovations
  • Course improvements made in response to student or peer feedback
  • Dedication to student learning outside the classroom
  • Other positive impacts on students through teaching activities
  • Other positive impacts on the department, college, university, or broader communities, through teaching activities

 Past recipients of the award will not be considered.

Nomination Materials

Submission Deadline: Friday, January 27, 2023

The following required nomination materials must be prepared in 12-point font:

  • A two-page statement from the candidate summarizing his or her teaching philosophy and objectives and explaining how his or her pedagogy is designed to meet those objectives
  • A summary of evaluation scores and enrollments for courses taught the last three years, using this spreadsheet template
  • A letter of nomination from the department head contextualizing the candidate's teaching responsibilities and influence on teaching in the department
  • Two letters of support from former or current students

In addition, nominees may submit up to 15 additional pages of relevant supporting materials in 12-point font. Examples of such materials are below; these materials may be accompanied by annotations that direct the committee to relevant details. Documents such as letters and syllabi may be presented as excerpts or in full.

  • A list of teaching-related activities
  • A list of scholarly activities, such as publications and presentations, related to teaching
  • A list of teaching-related professional development activities
  • Additional letters of support from former or current students
  • Peer or supervisor observations of teaching
  • Sample syllabi
  • Additional qualitative or quantitative information from student evaluations

Additional required materials (not provided to the Faculty Evaluation Committee):

  • A short biography (two paragraphs maximum)
  • A half page Commencement Program citation (prepared by the college public relations specialist in the event that the nominee is the selected recipient for this award)
  • A candid photo: landscape-orientation photo (1920 X1080 minimum size) of nominee engaged in activity related to their nomination (teaching, working with students, doing research in the office, lab or field, etc.)
  • A professional portrait of at least 1000 pixels high, titled FirstName_LastName.jpg 

 Submit materials in PDF format via electronic form.

For more information on the Eldon J. Gardner Teacher of the Year Award, please contact:

Michele Hillard
Sr. Administrative Assistant
Phone: (435) 797-0121
Email: michele.hillard@usu.edu