Drake Provost Ron Troyer presents Laurie Doré with the award during Friday's ceremony.
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Laurie Kratky Doré, the Ellis and Nelle Levitt distinguished
professor of law, has been named the 2009 recipient of the Madelyn Levitt
Teacher of the Year Award.
This award recognizes Doré for excellence in teaching,
inspirational leadership and intellectual rigor. Doré received the award at
Drake University Law School's Commencement Ceremony on May 15.
In presenting the award, Provost Ron Troyer said students
appreciate Doré's "contagious enthusiasm" for her subject matter and
her ability to explain difficult material in a way that is effective and accessible.
Troyer noted that those who nominated her for the University's top teaching
award describe her as personable, prepared and having a true passion for the
"I aim to create an effective teaching and learning
environment by communicating enthusiasm, high expectations and respect for my
students," Doré said. "A teacher must demonstrate passion and
excitement for her subject, for if she appears bored or disinterested, her
students will quickly follow suit."
Doré joined Drake in 1992 after practicing law for nearly
eight years. She earned her J.D. from Southern Methodist University School of
Law in 1984 and was admitted to the State Bar of Texas. She also was admitted
to the Iowa State Bar Association in 1996, and maintains a close affiliation
with the legal profession.
"When asked to identify my occupation, I tend to
respond, 'I'm a law professor' -- a title that aptly captures my dual
conception of myself. I am a lawyer who readies her students to become lawyers
themselves," Doré added.
A third-year law student said, "Doré never forgets that
she is teaching the next generation of attorneys. She helped me to understand
what it takes to be a leader and to know how to delegate, how to take control
and how to accept responsibility."
Doré also serves as faculty adviser for the Law School's National
Moot Court team, which finished in the top eight out of 28 teams that competed
in the national finals of the 59th Annual National Moot Court Competition
earlier this year. The team's brief was judged as Third Best Brief in the
"As coach, professor Doré knew our abilities well
enough to challenge us to work harder and to be better than we realized we were
capable of being without pushing us past our limits," said a second-year
law student and member of the Moot Court team.
"At the same time, she inspired our confidence by
making it clear she trusted us to apply the concepts that she taught us
successfully at competition," he added.
Dore's attitude toward teaching can be seen in her classroom
environment, where students repeatedly report feeling challenged and motivated.
"A positive learning environment requires an atmosphere
of mutual respect -- students' respect for me, my respect for the students and
students' respect for their colleagues," Doré added. "I hope to make
students feel 'safe' enough to venture answers, pose questions and, most
importantly, make mistakes."