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Derek Wood named 2015 SPU Teacher of the Year


Each year, the faculty of Seattle Pacific University nominate one peer for the United States Professor of the Year Award, an honor given by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. This year, Derek Wood, associate professor of biology, was nominated, particularly for his dedication to incorporating research into his teaching.

Derek gives students opportunities to pursue discovery-based, original research.  He also leads a National Science Foundation grant assessing the impact of incorporating research into college classrooms nationwide with Guiding Education Through Novel Investigation, a program he and colleagues developed.

“Dr. Wood is not only making a difference in the biology department,” says SPU Provost Jeff Van Duzer. “His work has also infused the teaching of others here at SPU, as well as colleagues in secondary and higher education across the country.”

Derek Wood and his family, Gwen, and sons Ethan and Justin, are members of Cedar Cross United Methodist Church. Gwen is professor at the University of Washington. Derek serves our church in many capacities, including as chair of the Staff and Parish Relations Committee (SPRC). When Derek serves as usher at worship services, Ethan and Justin often assist their dad with the offertory collection.

“Working with Derek is refreshing. He is always calm and collected, says Cedar Cross Office Administrator Mary Case. “He never hesitates to offer a compliment and make you feel honored and a positive addition to Cedar Cross.”

Our congratulations to Derek on becoming SPU teacher of the year, for his dedication to teaching and research, and for his service to Cedar Cross.


Derek photo






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