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Tande earns excellence in education honor

By   Erin Wood
05 /18/2018

A trailblazer in providing students free, online textbooks; coordinator of study abroad adventures; and innovator in curriculum development has been recognized with Lake Region State College’s annual teaching excellence award. 

Teresa Tande, Lake Region State College Associate Professor of English, Communications, and Humanities, has been awarded the Excellence in Education honor at the college for 2017-2018. Tande also advises the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society on campus and coordinates the annual study abroad trips for LRSC students and community members. 

Earlier this spring, Tande was enshrined in the Devils Lake Public Schools Hall of Fame. She has been at LRSC since 1998, full-time since 2007. 

Students past and present remember her classes because of her charming personality and ability to relate materials to their life or future careers. 

“Ms. Tande’s bubbly attitude engages students even if it’s an 8:00 am speech class,” says recent graduate and Phi Theta Kappa Co-Vice President Evan Stack. 

Teresa is a true leader, said LRSC President Doug Darling. 

“She represented LRSC on the General Education Council for over six years, ending her service there with the successful launch of last year’s LRSC Interstate Passport project.” 

Tande also serves as the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society advisor and recently earned her 10-year award.  She was previously named the International PTK Faculty Scholar, continues in her role as leader of the LRSC study abroad program; and has accepted the role as coordinator for our Shorelines publication.  

“She is a dedicated learner, earning graduate level faculty qualifications in three disciplines, English,

Humanities, and Communications, and recently earned an online teaching certificate to improve her ability to create and deliver quality online courses,” Darling said. 

Her colleagues quote her as energetic, knowledgeable, caring, and dedicated to students, student success, and Lake Region State College.  Last year, Teresa went “all in” on LRSC’s goal to make college more affordable through the adoption of Open Educational Resources, said Lloyd Halvorson, Vice President of Academic & Student Affairs at LRSC. 

“Not only did she adopt, she obtained a grant to educate online and dual credit faculty on the value and availability of OER’s.”

That effort led to other faculty, including those in dual credit locations, to follow suit.

“She is respectful and patient and someone who can be counted on to contribute in unexpected and in almost unlimited ways.  She is someone who never quits and who never stops inventing.  Most of us are more knowledgeable and better educators because of her,” Halvorson said. 

Tande always has embraced waves of change as opportunities to enhance student learning. She also utilizes popular culture to invite student discussions, projects, and enhance critical thinking.

That is how the Harry Potter-esque escape room became reality at LRSC this spring.

Members of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society wanted to raise awareness on campus for Phi Theta Kappa and also engage critical thinking. That activity spurred participation that exceeded all expectations.

The whole idea of the event started with Ms. Tande, said PTK Co-President and recent graduate Harvey Barr.

Tande also added a new class on campus to engage students:  Mythology in Harry Potter.

She is always one to bring themed subjects into core curriculum and add new dimensions to core classes to connect with students and enhance class participation.

Not only does Tande engage students, but she believes in students and develops their skills, said Nicholas Fassos, recent LRSC graduate and PTK Co-Vice President.

“She has a constant belief in students. Ms. Tande ensures that we students strive to reach our potential through her belief in us a people. She encourages us to become the best students and people possible.”