Dr. Matthew J. Fencl, associate professor in the Department of Health and Human Performance at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville Baraboo Sauk County, is one of four recipients across the UW System receiving the 2022 James R. Underkofler Excellence in Teaching Award. The $5,000 award, funded by Alliant Energy, recognizes extraordinary teachers at UW institutions within Alliant’s service area.
“I’ve always been a teacher first, and at a branch campus, I have the chance to make a real impact on students during a crucial transition period in their lives, at the beginning of their higher education,” said Fencl, who has been on the faculty of the Baraboo Sauk County campus since 2011.
During his career, he has taught and developed multiple new courses, successfully converted many face-to-face courses to be used in online curricula, and has been an innovator in new methods to maximize student learning, growth and development.
“If I’m not constantly working to improve myself as an educator, I feel I’m doing my students an injustice,” Fencl said.
In his statement on behalf of Fencl’s nomination, Dr. Scott Ringgenberg, chair of the Department of Health and Human Performance, cited Fencl’s broad commitment to teaching at all three UW-Platteville campuses, and to working with colleagues to assess and improve the department’s ongoing work with students.
“His continued research and publications demonstrate Dr. Fencl’s commitment to our profession and to our students,” said Ringgenberg. “He does such an excellent job in our department, and is very deserving of the Underkofler award.”
Fencl will be recognized at the university’s convocation and in a ceremony in Madison in October.