Larry R. Peterson, NDSU director of assessment and interim dean of libraries, has been selected to receive the 2016 Jerry G. Gaff Award for Faculty Excellence in General and Liberal Education by the Association for General and Liberal Studies, Columbus, Indiana. Peterson will be recognized Oct. 1 during the association’s annual conference in Salt Lake City.
The award is presented annually to persons who have demonstrated leadership on their campuses in the area of general and liberal education, are outstanding teachers in general and liberal education courses and have a record of achievement in curriculum development, innovation or implementation.
“This award recognizes the commitment that NDSU has made to prepare all our undergraduates to be well-rounded, curious and engaged world citizens. General education is the lifeblood of a campus and it is one of our most important responsibilities to our colleagues, our students and our community,” said Peterson. “I’ve been fortunate to work alongside countless NDSU faculty and students during these years.”
For more than two decades, Peterson has been a driving force for general education at NDSU, chairing the university’s general education committee for 16 years and serving on the state general education council since its inception. He was chair of the NDSU history department for 17 years.
“Larry Peterson exemplifies the qualities represented by the Gaff award: a career commitment to the values and practices of general and liberal studies, leadership to help faculty members professionalize in this area and direction of and participation in key general education initiatives at the campus, state, regional and national levels,” wrote nominator Amy Rupiper Taggart, professor of English and associate director of the Office of Teaching and Learning. “His support of newcomers to the field, especially, means that Larry's contributions will live on well past his retirement.”
Peterson earned his bachelor’s degree at Minnesota State University Moorhead, and his master’s degree and doctorate in American studies at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.
The award is named for Jerry Gaff, retired senior scholar of the Association of American Colleges and Universities. Gaff, who earned his doctorate in psychology from Syracuse University, served on the faculties of five institutions and was dean of the College of Liberal Arts and acting president of Hamline University.
As a student-focused, land-grant, research university, we serve our citizens.