David Obermiller Receives Edgar M. Carlson Award

Posted on May 31st, 2015 by

Dr. David Obermiller

Dr. David Obermiller

Gustavus Adolphus College Associate Professor of History, Environmental Studies, and Japanese Studies David Obermiller, received the 2015 Edgar M. Carlson Award for Distinguished Teaching during the College’s commencement exercises on Sunday, May 31. Obermiller was presented the award by the 2014 recipient, Associate Professor of Classics Matt Panciera.

Obermiller joined the Gustavus faculty in 2008. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Northern Iowa, and his master’s and Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. At Gustavus, Obermiller teaches courses such as Introduction to Modern East Asia, Introduction to Modern Japan, Introduction to China, and Environmental History.

Students who nominated Obermiller for the Edgar M. Carlson Award made the following comments about him:

“This professor has become my mentor because he puts his life into his work. He always makes time to meet with students and challenges us to succeed by giving us challenging assignments. After taking his class, my worldview has expanded tremendously and I feel like I’ve grown as a reader, writer, student, and most importantly grown as a person.”

“I took his class on a whim to satisfy general education credits, but what I got out of it was worth coming to Gustavus alone. He uncovers mysteries of the past in a riveting and challenging environment that makes history absolutely fascinating for everyone. His teaching methods are unconventional—based on conversation and personal engagement in the subject. I strongly believe every teacher could learn a lot from him. He expects a lot of his students and encourages them to excel through his high expectations. He’s deeply passionate about what he teaches and his passion is contagious.”

The Edgar M. Carlson Award was established by the Gustavus Board of Trustees in 1971 to honor former President Edgar Carlson for his years of distinguished leadership and in recognition of his commitment to academic excellence. Gustavus faculty, staff, administrators, and students nominate professors for this award, and each year at commencement a faculty member, selected by the Provost based on the recommendations of previous Carlson recipients, is awarded for their exceptional skill and effectiveness as an instructor.

Recent Carlson Award Recipients

2014: Matt Panciera, Classics
2013: Rebecca Fremo, English
2012: Alisa Rosenthal, Political Science
2011: Barbara Zust, Nursing
2010: Leila Brammer, Communication Studies
2009: Rick Orpen, Music
2008: Richard Leitch, Political Science
2007: Claude Brew, English
2006: Paul Saulnier, Physics
2005: Rob Gardner, Theatre and Dance
2004: Lisa Heldke, Philosophy
2003: Cindy Johnson, Biology
2002: Max Hailperin, Mathematics and Computer Science
2001: Gretchen Hofmeister, Chemistry
2000: Eric Eliason, English

A full list of past Carlson Award winners dating back to 1971 is available online.


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin


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