USD announces winners of Belbas-Larson Awards

USD announces winners of Belbas-Larson Awards
The University of South Dakota is proud to announce the recipients of�the 2007 Belbas-Larson�Awards for Excellence in Teaching. The Belbas-Larson Award for Excellence in Teaching is the highest honor USD bestows upon its educators. The award recipients will be recognized at the May commencement ceremony, when they each will receive a $5,000 tribute and a framed certificate commemorating their accomplishment.

The honoree in the tenured category is Michael P. Roche, professor of political science in the College of Arts and Sciences. Roche has taught criminal justice at USD for more than 30 years. Roche typically teaches three or four courses per semester with a total enrollment of 250-300 students. He is also often asked to make guest presentations in classes other than his own, to speak to student organizations, to participate in the summer program for Girls State and, from time to time, to address newly hired USD faculty on the subject of "The Heart of Teaching." Since 1981, Roche has volunteered to teach criminal justice and personal growth classes to inmates in the South Dakota State Penitentiary.�

"I feel very privileged to be engaged with students in what I consider to be a sacred vocation and one which has the potential to open hearts and minds to truths about who we are and what we are obliged to be doing with our precious time here on Earth," said Roche.

In the tenure-track category, the honoree is David Moskowitz, Ph.D., professor of music history in the College of Fine Arts. Moskowitz is an associate professor of musicology. In addition to teaching at the undergraduate and graduate levels, he is the graduate coordinator in music. His recent publications include Caribbean Popular Music: An Encyclopedia of Reggae, Mento, Ska, Rock Steady and Dancehall, and two biographies of the reggae superstar Bob Marley.

"Receiving the Belbas-Larson Excellence in Teaching Award is a wonderful honor, as it reflects the support of my past and present students and my faculty colleagues. It is humbling to be counted with those who have received the award in the past and pushes me to strive to be an even more active and engaged member of the university community. The single thing that I enjoy most about teaching at The U is the inquisitive nature of the students. Although it is my responsibility to push them to gain an understanding of music history, they in turn push me to stay current with the scholarship in the field and continually look at historical information in a new light," said Moskowitz. ��

The Belbas-Larson Awards were established by a 1956 graduate of USD, Dean Belbas of Edina, MN, and Sioux Falls, and his friends, Harold W. and Kathryn Larson of Bemidji, MN, and Scottsdale, AZ.

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