Viterbo University Strides Magazine Online

Business Prof is Teacher of the Year  

Although David Schulz has been on the Viterbo University faculty for only one year as a full-time instructor, his teaching style has struck a resounding chord with students -- so much so that he was chosen as the 2001 Teacher of the Year.

Students wrote in their nomination letters that he always has a welcoming smile, a joke, and a kind word. He encourages critical thinking, they said, and asks students how they learn best. Plus, he whistles as he walks.

“As a professor, Dave truly cares about his students,” wrote junior Emily Olson in her nomination letter. “The students know exactly what he expects of them at the beginning of the semester, and he sticks to his word throughout…Dave is also a very approachable man outside of class. If I ever wanted to know where I stood in class, or had a question on an assignment, he was always in his office, ready to assist me.”

Kindness and hospitality aren’t the only reasons students are singing his praises. Schulz has about 30 years of non-academic working experience and a passion for his subject that inspires students.

“I appreciate the way Mr. Schulz relates the business material learned in class to real-world situations. This makes it much easier to understand the concepts,” wrote senior Chris Cook.

“His knowledge of the material he presents is superior and he is exceptionally enthusiastic about it…His students can feel his love for the subject material, and it encourages them to embrace the concepts,” added junior Lacie Lyste.

Other students wrote that he shares his knowledge, and has them apply the concepts and ideas. He never gives answers; instead, he challenges and leads students through a process that helps them think critically.

Schulz received his undergraduate and master’s degrees in business administration from Winona State University. In 1977, he was certified as a public housing manager. From 1971?89, he worked for the Housing and Redevelopment Authority of Winona, Minn. as the assistant director and, later, the executive director. In 1989, he joined Hawkins, Ash, Baptie, Inc. in La Crosse and served as a manager until 1993 when he took a job as business administrator for the Monroe County Department of Human Services. In 1996, he began serving as adjunct professor of economics at Lakeland College. He joined Viterbo’s adjunct staff in the Dahl School of Business during fall 1999. He was hired for full-time employment at Viterbo in fall 2000.

In addition to Schulz, the following individuals were recognized at Honors Convocation held May 3:

  • Fr. J. Thomas Finucan, a past president of Viterbo University (1960?70) and current assistant to President William Medland for institutional advancement, received the J. Thomas Finucan Award for his exceptional contributions to furthering the mission of Viterbo University.
  • Grant Smith, associate professor in the English department, received the Outstanding Academic Advisor Award for his dedication and commitment to the academic advising of students.
  • The Learning Center, a campus department that provides academic support to Viterbo students, received the Pax Et Bonum (Peace and All Good) Award for its fulfillment of the Franciscan values of service, respect, hospitality, stewardship, and joy.
  • Servant Leader Awards were presented to the following for their leadership and service to others:
  • Mark Franz, director of computer services
  • Marilyn Jaekel, campus nurse
  • Joseph Kawatski, retired biology professor who returned to lead the classes of Linda Malick, a Viterbo biology professor who died suddenly in December
  • Neil Rouse, assistant director of computer services
  • Manuel Williams, custodian