School of Education’s Kaplan, Clark recognized with UW–Madison Hilldale Awards

David Kaplan and Laurie Beth Clark, both faculty members with the School of Education, were honored with UW–Madison Hilldale Awards for their distinguished contributions to research, teaching, and service.

Each year, the Secretary of the Faculty recognizes four professors from across campus for these major awards, which have been given annually since the 1986-87 academic year. One faculty member each from the arts and humanities, social sciences, physical sciences, and biological sciences is selected from nominations by department chairs. The winners are awarded $7,500.

Kaplan is the Patricia Busk Professor of Quantitative Methods in the Department of Educational Psychology and Clark is a professor of non-static forms with the Art Department. Joining Kaplan and Clark are Richard Lindroth, a Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor of Entomology; and Thomas Jahns, a Grainger Professor of Power Electronics and Electrical Machines.

David Kaplan

Kaplan is an international expert in applying Bayesian statistics to educational research. This branch of statistics provides realistic and evolving understandings of probabilities, and Kaplan has applied his work to educational assessments. His research has improved the design and analysis of influential educational assessments both in the U.S. and across the globe.

Throughout his career, Kaplan has authored dozens of research articles, written two books, and given scores of keynote addresses around the world. He was elected to the National Academy of Education in 2015. That same year, he received the Alexander von Humboldt Research Award, which led to a year at the Leibniz Institute for Research and Information in Education in Frankfurt, Germany, and subsequent work on international educational assessments.

Kaplan served as chair of the Department of Educational Psychology from 2012 to 2015 and is currently chair of the Research Advisory Committee of the National Academy of Education. He has taught 14 graduate statistics courses to students from all over campus and consistently receives high marks for distilling complex statistical methods into understandable content.

“Professor Kaplan is one of the most accomplished and recognized figures within the educational statistics community,” says James Wollack, professor and chair of the Department of Educational Psychology. “All the more wonderful is that Professor Kaplan is an extraordinary colleague; he is generous with his time and expertise and is passionate about helping to create an hospitable and enriching environment for our faculty, staff, and students.”

Laurie Beth Clark

Over the course of her 35-year career, Clark has established herself as a productive and innovative scholar, researcher and performer in wide-ranging artistic disciplines. Her work, which blends artistic media and focuses on socially mindful collaborations, has been featured in more than 200 exhibitions, performances and events in 47 countries on six continents.

As a pioneer in what are known as non-static forms, which blend video, performance and installation, Clark developed all-original curricula for UW–Madison art courses in this field when she joined the university in 1985. She has continued to develop dozens of courses and seminars across the artistic spectrum that always blend theory and practice. And she has been a productive and sought-after mentor, serving on hundreds of graduate student committees. In addition, Clark served as chair of the Art Department from 1998 to 2001 and as vice provost for faculty and staff from 2004 to 2008, where she focused on strengthening interdisciplinary initiatives across campus.

Today, Clark is well known for her collaborative project Spatula&Barcode. This project has used food to explore social connections and responsibility. Since 2008, Spatula&Barcode has realized more than 30 projects in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and North and South America, including exhibitions at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art.

“Clark is a passionate, committed and innovative teacher and has a stellar service record both on campus and internationally,” writes professor and chair of the Art Department Douglas Rosenberg. “She has engaged deeply to make the university a better place, from the smallest personal interaction to the larger challenge of juggling artmaking, scholarly research and publication, teaching and administrative responsibilities.”

To learn more about all of this year’s award winners, check out this report from University Communications.

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