Sioux City, Iowa – Two Morningside faculty members, Dr. Jessica LaPaglia and Dr. Anni Moore, and the Regina Roth Applied Agricultural & Food Studies Department have received the 2023 Dr. William C. Yockey Assessment Awards. The awards annually recognize outstanding efforts to improve student learning at Morningside.

“Prioritizing assessment is essential at Morningside; it’s the way we confirm that our students are obtaining the highest quality education and that the results are meeting our expectations. The Yockey Awards provide a platform to celebrate this vital work and acknowledge the superior teaching and learning experiences that are a daily occurrence within our campus community,” stated Dr. Chris Spicer, provost and vice president for academic affairs.

Dr. Jessica LaPaglia, an associate professor of psychology who has been at Morningside since 2013, was recognized for her work in her research methods in psychology course. Using past assessment data, LaPaglia has implemented continuous improvement to inform changes to writing assignments so as to better student performance. External evaluators were impressed with effectiveness of the small tweaks for improvement, as well as the use of qualitative survey responses to inform the quantitative data. LaPaglia received her bachelor’s degree from Augsburg University and her master’s and PhD from Iowa State University.

Jessica LaPaglia

Dr. Anni Moore is an associate professor of biology who has been at Morningside since 2014. Moore was selected for the award for assessment work she did in a genetics course she teaches, examining biases when making ethical decisions. Moore presented students with different ethical case studies to help reveal biases and demonstrate how different models may be used for different cases. Evaluators noted that it was interesting to see how the assessment demonstrated that different theories of distributive justice varied with the types of scenarios presented in the case studies. Moore holds a bachelor’s degree and a PhD from Northern Illinois University.

Anni Moore

The Regina Roth Applied Agricultural and Food Studies Department was selected as the William C. Yockey Programmatic Assessment Award recipient for 2023. Evaluators remarked as to the use of authentic artifacts in assessing student learning within the department and the use of multiple raters to examine the artifacts. Overall, the department was credited with doing excellent work in assessing student performance, using ratings from practicum supervisors to provide an outside perspective on student performance, and practicing continuous improvement to make adjustments for student learning.

A 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.