Tze Recognized For Teaching Excellence

June 25, 2018

william tze holds his award

Congratulations to William Tze who received the 2018 Distinguished Teaching Award for Undergraduate Faculty from the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS). The award recognizes faculty who have made significant contributions to teaching and symbolizes CFANS' commitment to excellence in teaching. Tze was nominated by his colleagues, students, and alumni.

Tze's teaching philosophy can be summarized in one word: engage.

“I make efforts to first know each of them by name and beyond,” Tze says. “I have seen much evidence that students do well if they are engaged in learning and committed to success.”

Some ways he creates an engaged learning environment are asking his students questions, holding group learning activities and hands-on activities in his lecture-based courses, and doing interactive web-based learning such as an electronic quiz game to help students learn in a biorenewable resources course.

Engagement does not stop within the walls of his classroom, however. He strives to make himself available outside of class to talk to students about homework, course materials, and career goals.

In addition, he academically advises an average of 12 undergraduate students a year as well as students not officially assigned to him. His caring, approachable, and positive demeanor attracts students to seek advice about their career paths.

"Teaching takes a lot of my efforts and time, and it is nice to be acknowledged," Tze says. "Making students like the course and maximizing their learning of what needs to be learnt are not necessarily the same thing. I was fortunate to be able to move the two closer to each other with the nature or level of courses that I taught and teach. My next challenge is the large enrollment online course, which I began teaching recently. To me, teaching is a continuous learning process, and I thank supportive colleagues and students for cheering for me along the way."

Tze earned his Ph.D. in forest resources from the University of Maine and has been teaching, advising, and mentoring students in the department since 2005.

What nominators said of Tze

  • Professor Tze epitomizes what an outstanding instructor, mentor, advisor, and researcher at a major research university ought to be.
  • He clearly values his role as a mentor and understands the vital role that this position plays in the success of his advisees in the workplace post-graduation.
  • He is a very creative, innovative, and enthusiastic teacher.
  • William is the best professor I have had at the University of Minnesota, and no one deserves to be recognized for his acheivements in the field of education more than he does.
  • Students clearly value his opinion.