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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 7, 2009    #068
Contact: Wandra Brooks Green
816-235-1601

UMKC Professor of Physics receives 2009 Governor's Award for Excellence in Education

University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) physics professor Elizabeth (Libby) R. Stoddard, Ph.D., received the 2009 Governor’s Award for Excellence in Education, making her one of 15 educators from colleges and universities around the state selected for the honor.

Robert Stein, Executive Director of the Missouri Department of Higher Education, congratulated the recipients for the standards of performance, which are the basis for the Governor’s Award: effective teaching, innovative course design and delivery, effective advising, service to the university community, commitment to high standards of excellence and success in nurturing student achievement.

Governor Jay Nixon and members of the Missouri Coordinating Board for Higher Education hosted the presentation ceremony.

“Because the award comes from my peers – so many great professors whom I admire so much – I feel tremendously humbled and honored,” Stoddard said. “I feel lucky to be an educator, working along with my colleagues here at UMKC and striving to serve students and teachers better every day. That is intrinsically motivating to me.”

In one study published in the “International Journal of Science Education,” Stoddard and her collaborators – Professors Louis Odom and Steven LaNasa – examined the effect of various factors on student achievement in middle schools. The results showed that group experiments and less note-taking during class contributed to greater student achievement.

“Many of the achievements for which I received the award I share with my science education research collaborators, and I am grateful for this award as recognition of their efforts as well,” Stoddard said.

Since coming to UMKC in 2001, she has secured funding of $1.1 million for teacher education programs – to improve elementary teachers’ backgrounds in science and better prepare them to teach scientific principles to their students.

Stoddard received a Bachelor of Arts in physics from William Jewell College in 1993, and her master’s (1997) and Ph.D. (2000) degrees in physics from Washington University.

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a three-part mission: visual and performing arts, health sciences, and urban engagement.

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