Two Morningside faculty members, Shannon Claxton and Tom Paulsen, and the political science program have received the 2022 Dr. William C. Yockey Assessment Awards. The awards annually recognize outstanding efforts to improve student learning at Morningside.

“Assessment is a priority at Morningside so we can ensure our students are receiving the best education possible and the outcomes are as we would expect. The Yockey Awards are an opportunity to honor this important work and celebrate the excellent teaching and learning happening every day within our campus community,” said Dr. Chris Spicer, provost and vice president for academic affairs.

Shannon Claxton, an associate professor of psychology, was recognized for her work in the elementary probability and statistics course. The external evaluator noted that Claxton’s assessment provided a clear description and analysis of the results comparing the testing methods for each section of the course. She teaches courses in social psychology, personality, and research methods. Her primary research interests focus on romantic and sexual relationships. Claxton received her bachelor’s degree from Cornell College, and both her master’s degree and Ph.D from Kent State University.

Tom Paulsen, a professor and department head of the Regina Roth Applied Agricultural and Food Studies Department, was recognized for the Applied Agricultural and Food Studies Capstone course. The evaluator noted that the deliberate structuring of the course based on solid theory and research from the literature is not only thoughtful, but commendable. Paulsen received his bachelor’s degree in agricultural education from Northwest Missouri State, a Master of Science in agricultural education from Iowa State, and his Ph.D. in agricultural education from Iowa State University. 

The Political Science Department was selected as the William C. Yockey Programmatic Assessment Award recipient for 2022. Students can earn a Bachelor of Arts in political science with a variety of opportunities for research. It was noted that the department did a good job articulating its assessment plan by including multiple direct measures of signature assignments from courses in their program. The department uses two raters when reviewing student work and does an excellent job of proposing changes based on the assessment data that are reasonable and doable.

A $3,500 cash prize is included with each award. The family of the late Dr. William C. Yockey, a 1949 Morningside graduate and chemistry professor at Morningside for more than 30 years, established the awards in his name.