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ESA Recognizes Professor for Interactive Approach to Teaching

Author: Sarah Nightingale
August 30, 2018

William Walton, a professor of entomology, has received the Distinguished Achievement Award in Teaching from the Entomological Society of America (ESA). The award is presented annually to the member of the Society deemed to be the most outstanding teacher of the year.

Walton, who has been on the UCR faculty since 1995, teaches insect ecology, aquatic entomology, a freshman advising seminar for first-year learning communities, and graduate seminars in medical, veterinary, and urban entomology. He has also recently taught introductory evolution and ecology in the biology/life sciences curriculum and supra-organismal disciplines in the entomology graduate core curriculum.

Walton applies student-centered active learning approaches and assessments to the courses he teaches at UCR. For example, together with fellow entomology faculty member Bradley Mullens, he developed an aquatic entomology course to emphasize “learning by doing.” The students carry out a bioassessment of the Santa Ana River and write a report that summarizes the data collected on laboratory and weekend field trips as a way to encourage scientific synthesis and literacy.

Walton serves as vice chair of the Department of Entomology, a co-director of the Pacific Southwest Center of Excellence in Vector-borne Diseases, and president of the American Mosquito Control Association. He is a distinguished professor of teaching, a National Academies Education Fellow in the Life Sciences, and a recent recipient of the Western Region Award of Excellence in College and University Teaching in the Food and Agricultural Sciences.

Walton will be honored at Entomology 2018, the Joint Annual Meeting of the Entomological Societies of America, Canada, and British Columbia, on November 11-14 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. ESA is the largest organization in the world serving the professional and scientific needs of entomologists and people in related disciplines.

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