If you haven’t heard yet – we’ve got award winning faculty.

CATEGORIES: October 2016

ISU University Awards

Chad Gasta

ISU Award for Early Achievement in Departmental Leadership

Dr. Gasta, our Chair and Professor of Spanish, was recognized for the exceptional impact he has had on WLC during his first three years at the helm of our language and culture ship. A renowned scholar of early modern opera and literature, Dr. Gasta is also Director of International Studies and U.S. Latino Studies and Program Director of our Languages & Cultures for Professions program. He won the LAS Award for International Service in 2012.

Around Pearson Hall we see Chad as much more than a dynamic leader. He is a constant advocate an for all of our individual efforts. His humor keeps our spirits as high as possible during the darkest hours of midterms.

You could get to know him a little better too if you took part on the study abroad program in Valencia.

Ruxandra Looft

ISU Award for Early Achievement in Academic Advising

Iowa State University commends Dr. Looft, our Advising Coordinator and Lecturer of German, for outstanding early advising. We commend her for being a downright amazing colleague and human being.

When she finds time, Sandra often writes about gender in various cultural contexts and a strong sense of social justice guides her in every aspect of her work. She generally keeps this place running smoothly and her creativity in communications and recruitment keep WLC welcoming and hip. You could get to know her better by studying abroad with her in Berlin.

Rachel Meyers

ISU Shakeshaft Master Teacher Award


LAS James Huntington Ellis Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Introductory Teaching

Dr. Meyers, Assistant Professor of Classical Studies, was awarded by both the College and the University for her phenomenal undergraduate teaching. Have you taken her Greek & Roman Mythology course (CLST 273) or Heroes of Greece, Rome, and Today (CL ST 373)? We all wish that we could.

Rachel is one of the kindest faculty members in WLC and that is saying a lot with this department. We couldn’t imagine a WLC without her.

Dr. Meyers’s research has dealt with many aspects of Classical antiquity but her big current project documents and examines sculptural displays of the Antonine family from the Roman Empire. You could experience the remnants of that empire by taking part in her study abroad program “Roman Italy: Building the Empire” in May, 2018.

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Awards

Mark Looney

LAS International Service Award

Dr. Looney won the LAS award for Outstanding Teaching by a Lecturer in 2014, and this was quickly followed by his recognition for International Services in 2015. The one-two punch of these awards didn’t come as a surprise to anyone who has spent time around Mark in academic or professional settings. Mark is the program coordinator for the department’s Languages & Cultures for Professions (LCP) program which has been nationally recognized, a senior lecturer of German, and he is a co-director of the LAS study abroad program in Berlin.

Somehow, between sculpting the minds of undergraduates and serving our campus community, Mark finds time to have stimulating conversations on international politics and to help run our website and newsletter. We applaud his flexibility and willingness to keep so many plates spinning.

Elisa Rizo

Cassling Outstanding Achievement in Teaching

We here in WLC already know what an amazing teacher (and researcher!) Dr. Rizo is. This award follows from her 2015 win of the LAS Outstanding Achievement in Teaching, and we are sure that there will be more recognition of her greatness down the line. Dr. Rizo is an Associate Professor of Spanish and an avid writer and editor of academic journals and books alike. Elisa is also known throughout the department as an outstanding colleague who is always willing to lend an ear or an eye for research and writing development.

You can experience Elisa’s outstanding teaching firsthand in her Intro to Reading Hispanic Texts (SPAN 314) or her online Latin American Civilization course (SPAN 322).

Jonathan Webb

LAS Diversity Award

Jonathan Webb has been recognized for his noteworthy accomplishments in diversity in the College of LAS for his work with our growing ASL program as well as the Black Faculty and Staff Association Committee. Jonathan is now teaching remotely for us from California, but his presence is still very much felt here at ISU. He works hard to show students and employees alike kindness, respect, and inclusion. We miss you you, Jonathan, and hope that your current explorations in online education are fulfilling.

Check out his ASL 101XW and ASL 102XW (both online) in the spring!