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Vinson ’embodies the spirit of education and service’

Laura Vinson, service learning programs manager for the Office of Public Health Practice in the UNMC College of Public Health

Laura Vinson, service learning programs manager for the Office of Public Health Practice in the UNMC College of Public Health

Laura Vinson, service learning programs manager for the Office of Public Health Practice in the UNMC College of Public Health, received the Interprofessional Academy of Educators Catalyst for Education Award at a ceremony in August that featured a keynote speech by Michael Wesch, PhD, a professor of cultural anthropology at Kansas State.

The IAE award, presented annually at the Premier Education Event, recognizes an individual in an educational support role whose contributions have been integral to furthering the educational mission at UNMC.

“Laura Vinson embodies the spirit of education and service at UNMC,” said Brian Boerner, MD, director of IAE. “She provides incredible guidance for the students she supports and cares deeply about their educational experience and success. We congratulate Laura on being the 2022 Catalyst for Education award recipient, and we recognize all of the talented and dedicated nominees for this year’s award.”

Vinson credited her teammates for the award.

“Being selected was an honor,” she said. “The recognition is reflective of my team’s work to support each other, which allow our strengths to emerge and an opportunity to do our best.”

Nominators called Vinson “someone who cares about a student’s success” and “a champion for students and communities at UNMC for over a decade.”

“Laura has been instrumental in building community-based partnerships throughout Nebraska, the U.S. and the world,” one nominator wrote. “She is an excellent example of UNMC’s commitment to high quality and state-of-the-art educational experiences.”

The Premier Education event concluded with Dr. Wesch’s keynote, which focused on excellence in education. During his talk, sponsored by faculty development, Dr. Wesch provided tips for achieving greatness in teaching, encouraging faculty to approach teaching with a sense of humility to better connect with students – what he calls the “great thing” mindset. 

“Ego teaching is all about the performance, whereas great teaching is all about this ‘great thing’ that humans have gathered around the fire to talk about,” Wesch said. “You want to invite other people to sit around the fire with you. You’re not performing for them, you’re connecting with them.”

“Dr. Wesch’s presentation was timely and relevant,” said Linda Love, EdD, director of faculty development. “His willingness to share the successes, as well as the failures in his own teaching, had a lasting impact on all attendees.”

See a recording of the award presentation, along with Dr. Wesch’s talk.

8 comments

  1. Bill O'Neill says:

    Congratulations, Laura!

  2. Catherine Mello says:

    Congratulations, Laura! It is so wonderful to consider you a colleague and friend.

  3. Julie Oltman says:

    Congratulations, Laura!

  4. Nikki Carritt says:

    Congratulations, Laura and all, on the well-deserved honor and recognition!

  5. Nicole Kolm-Valdivia says:

    Congratulations, Laura! We are so fortunate you are part of COPH!

  6. Kaeli Samson says:

    Way to go, Laura – so well deserved!

  7. Kendra Schmid says:

    Congratulations Laura! This is well-deserved recognition of your hard work and dedication!

  8. Heidi Keeler says:

    There is no one more deserving! I love working with you, and appreciate all of the innovative things you are doing to better UNMC.

Comments are closed.