Marquette history professor honored with teaching excellence award
Foster is said to have the Jesuit characteristic of cura personalis in her DNA.
MILWAUKEE – Dr. Kristen Foster, associate professor of history, recently received the university’s highest teaching honor, the Robert and Mary Gettel Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence.
Foster, of Evantson, Illinois, is said to have the Jesuit characteristic of cura personalis in her DNA. “I like to think that my father passed along his love of both learning and teaching to me, and that in some small way, I have tried to mirror his tremendous commitment to the well-being and education of anyone who dares to open themselves fully to the process of learning,” said Foster.
Foster’s use of film clips, music and literature during her lectures give students a deeper look into the complex web of personalities, realities and intangibilities that drive historical events. “Dr. Foster cultivated a dynamic learning environment, never relying on any one type of teaching strategy, but instead utilized an array of strategies to create an environment that was conducive to spirited historical scholarship,” said a former student.
As a mentor and noted role model, Foster counsels students to discern a path that they may not have previously considered. Her enthusiasm for the subject not only sparks students’ interest on the topic, it has inspired many to pursue careers in history. “Whatever students choose to pursue in life, I want them to embrace and fearlessly question the world around them. I want them to remember to ask ‘why,’ and to choose the search for truth and meaning as often as they are able. In this way, their lives will be richer, and the world will be a better place,” said Foster.
Teaching Excellence Awards are the highest honor bestowed upon Marquette University faculty members. Recipients are nominated by their colleagues and students for demonstrating excellence as teacher-scholars.