Congratulations, Robert Dunbar!

Recipient of a 2017 Horace T. Morse-University of Minnesota Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education

About the Award

DTA Logo 350x274The Horace T. Morse-University of Minnesota Alumni Association Award recognizes excellence in contributing directly and indirectly to student learning through teaching, research, and creative activities; advising; academic program development; and educational leadership. Robert Dunbar received this award at the Distinguished Teaching Awards ceremony on April 27, 2017.

Each year, the Alumni Association is proud to join the Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost in supporting the Distinguished Teaching Awards, which recognize the outstanding work of U of M educators. Recipients of the awards are inducted into the Academy of Distinguished Teachers.

About Robert Dunbar

  • Associate Professor
  • Center for Learning Innovation
  • University of Minnesota Rochester

When the UMR campus was new, it needed strong guidance to become a competitive school for undergraduates. It got that and more in Robert Dunbar, whose commitment to teaching, student advising, and curriculum development is second to none.

In designing new courses, he seeks evidence-based best practices, ways to implement these principles in a collaborative curricular model, and means to integrate them with institutional mission objectives. By all measures of effectiveness—such as student learning and the ease with which his colleagues can adopt them—Dunbar’s course design and assignments work splendidly. In 2015 appreciative students chose him as their Commencement speaker.

“Whether it was meeting with me after every exam to go over each question or arranging weekly one-on-one meetings to review course topics, he proved to me he was a professor who would do whatever it took for his students to succeed,” says an admiring UMR graduate.

Under his guidance, students have conducted research projects in neuroscience and presented work done with peers at an international conference. His commitment to students shines through every interaction with them. “Not only did he provide exceptional instruction in anatomy, physiology, and neuroscience, but he also appeared to care for me on a personal level,” says a former student. “I firmly believe Dr. Dunbar was an instrumental person in helping me realize my potential.”

“My research interests are fueled by the belief that close relationships exist among curriculum design, course design, course development, assessment of student understanding, and faculty research.”

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