Kittelson Wins Edgar M. Carlson Award for Distinguished Teaching

A member of the biology faculty since 1999, Kittelson was recognized with the award at the 2017 commencement ceremony.
Posted on May 30th, 2017 by

Biology professor Pamela Kittelson

Gustavus Adolphus College biology professor Pamela Kittelson was named the winner of the 2017 Edgar M. Carlson Award for Distinguished Teaching at the College’s commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 28. She was presented the award by history professor Eric Carlson, the 2016 winner of the award.

“It is a tremendous honor to be recognized by people that I hold in such high esteem,” Kittelson said. “Teaching at Gustavus is fulfilling because of the people I work with across campus that come together for the good of our students and their education.”

“[Kittelson] is reflective, innovative, thoughtful, intentional about teaching, and constantly works to improve,” Carlson said. “She is the model of the teacher-scholar.”

Kittelson accepts the Carlson Award at the 2017 commencement ceremony.

A member of the Gustavus faculty since 1999, Kittelson teaches courses ranging from introductory biology to advanced plant physiology, plant systematics, and ecology. She attended Colorado College and Humboldt State University before receiving her doctorate in plant biology from the University of California, Davis in 1998. At Gustavus, Kittelson has been a mentor for new faculty members, served on the Writing Across the Curriculum Advisory Board, and is an active participant in determining the College curriculum. In addition, she has co-authored numerous articles with Gustavus students and led or participated in multiple joint research projects and conference presentations.

“My objectives are to help students weigh evidence, read and think critically, reflect thoughtfully and express ideas with precision and grace,” Kittelson wrote previously. “I help them become persons who have learned how to learn, who love connections among ideas, and who revel in the intellectual journey as much as the destination.”

“Pamela practices and models the qualities that embody the Carlson award,” Provost and Dean of the Faculty Brenda Kelly said. “She engages her students in ways that both challenge and support them and adapts her teaching practices to reach students with a diverse set of learning styles. Finally, she takes what she has learned and experienced in the classroom and laboratory and shares this information with early career faculty members to help them develop and adapt their own teaching strategies.”

A first-generation college student herself, Kittelson hopes that students have a life-changing experience during their undergraduate years. “I hope they appreciate every opportunity that they get,” she said. “I love that I get to learn everyday alongside my students.”

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 award recipients, is honored for their exceptional skill and effectiveness as an instructor.

Recent Carlson Award Recipients

2016: Eric Carlson, History
2015: David Obermiller, History
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 Luc Hatlestad



  1. Marsha Celestino says:

    Congratulations, a very nice award.
    Marsha Plunkett Celestino
    Denver friend of your mother!

  2. Aunt Donna and Uncle Jason says:

    So very proud of you and your accomplishments. Congratulations on this award and we know you will always strive toward excellence in your profession. Well done…..

  3. Linnea Schmidt says:

    Well deserved!