David Rapp Receives Undergraduate Teaching Award

David Rapp Receives Undergraduate Teaching Award

David Rapp

SESP professor David Rapp will be honored with a 2015 University Teaching Award for his outstanding dedication to undergraduate education at Northwestern University. Rapp will receive a Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence Award.

He will be recognized at a ceremony from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on May 21 in the Guild Lounge of Scott Hall. A reception will follow the event.

Undergraduate deans nominate faculty members for University Teaching Awards. A selection committee, chaired by Provost Daniel Linzer and made up of senior faculty members, University administrators and a student representative, selected the recipients from a diverse and strong pool of candidates.

The Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence Award has a three-year term and includes $7,000 to the recipient as a salary supplement, $3,000 for professional development and a one-time $3,000 award to the recipient's home department to support activities that enhance undergraduate education.

Rapp is a professor of learning sciences in the School of Education and Social Policy and a professor of psychology in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. With this dual appointment, he works to build connections between the two schools through his extensive student teaching, advising and mentoring activities. His research focuses on the cognitive processes that underlie comprehension and learning, and this work informs his teaching practices.

He is committed to iteratively examining his own instructional practices and identifying opportunities to build active, collaborative learning spaces within and outside of the classroom. Rapp fosters students’ critical thinking, analytic experiences and writing skills by employing innovative teaching methods and encouraging student involvement in his own lab. Students have praised his ability to “connect what students are learning to other domains and apply that knowledge to the world outside the classroom.”

Rapp is also hailed for his frequent work as a mentor to graduate and undergraduate students, who describe their admiration for his patience, ability to identify their needs and success in inspiring them by his inquisitive nature and extensive subject knowledge.

He has received a McKnight Land-Grant Professorship Award from the University of Minnesota, the Tom Trabasso Young Investigator Award from the Society for Text and Discourse and an Excellence in Teaching Award from the Undergraduate Psychology Association at Northwestern University. He also is a fellow of the Association of Psychological Science. Rapp received his PhD in experimental psychology from State University of New York at Stony Brook and his MA in psychology from New York University.

University Teaching Awards recognize individual faculty members who have consistently demonstrated outstanding performance in classroom teaching, developed significant innovations that have also influenced the methods and teaching effectiveness of other faculty, and demonstrated evidence of significant curricular enhancement to undergraduate education.

By Erin Spain
Last Modified: 6/30/15