SPRINGFIELD, Ohio - Assistant Professor of Education Lowell Monke has been a member of the faculty at Wittenberg University for slightly more than two years, but in that short time his peers and students have noticed a style of teaching worthy of the Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK) Award for outstanding teaching. This award honors those professors who have been on the faculty for five years or less. Students nominated Monke, and the award was presented to him by junior Sarah Henrickson, president of the Wittenberg Chapter of ODK, during the annual Honors Convocation on Friday, April 11.
In the award presentation, Henrickson said students describe Monke as self-effacing and humble and as someone who cares deeply for students. One nominator said, " Everyday, Dr. Monke makes the difference in students' lives by teaching from his heart and being."
"He has been known to say he doesn't feel like he's learned all there is to know about teaching, so his students benefit from his passion for learning," Henrickson said. "Particularly impressive is that he has inspired every student in each of his two level 100 classes to tutor a local middle school student."
Monke met and exceeded all judging criteria, including excellence in classroom teaching, student rapport, and contributions to his own department as well as to Wittenberg's national academic reputation among liberal arts and sciences colleges.
Monke teaches philosophical and sociological perspectives in education. His research and writing interests revolve around alternative education, diversity, and the social and psychological impact of high technology on children's development.
Monke co-authored a book with R.W. Burniske titled "Breaking Down the Digital Walls: Learning to Teach in a Post-modern World." The book is both a narrative and critical analysis of a decade of collaboration on global telecomputing projects designed and coordinated by Monke and Burniske while living on opposite sides of the world.
A native of Kingsley, Iowa, Monke received a B.S. in mathematics from McPherson College in McPherson, Kan. in 1971 and a Ph.D. from Iowa State University in 1999, where he received the Research Excellence Award for his dissertation.
In 1998, Dan Rather of CBS Evening News interviewed him about "computers in schools, do they make a difference?" He has also served on the board for the Alliance for Childhood since 1999.
ODK is the national leadership honor society for college students, faculty, staff, administrators, and alumni that recognizes and encourages superior scholarship, leadership and exemplary character.