Keith Summerville, associate professor of environmental science and policy and the associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, received the Delta Gamma Foundation Outstanding Faculty Award for 2012 for excellence in teaching undergraduates.
The Delta Gamma Foundation presented Summerville with a $5,000 unrestricted grant and a plaque at the Delta Gamma Convention in Indianapolis, Ind., on June 29.
“I was both humbled and honored to have been nominated for this national award,” Summerville says.
Several members of the Alpha Lambda chapter of Delta Gamma at Drake University, including senior environmental science major Abbey Elmer, nominated Summerville for the award.
Elmer says that ever since taking her first class taught by Summerville, he has always pushed and challenged her in the field of environmental science. Summerville even encouraged her to conduct research with him last summer, something she never anticipated in her undergraduate experience.
“Keith Summerville has made an huge impact on my life as a student as well as a field researcher,” Elmer says. “Keith motivated me to work hard and pursue my aspirations of being a field scientist. I think Drake is truly unique in that it has professors such as Keith Summerville who push their students.”
Summerville gives much of the credit for his award to his students.
“A certain amount of my success as a teacher is due to the quality students I have been fortunate to work with,” Summerville says. “They aren’t afraid to take risks and they allow themselves to go outside their comfort zone. I am proud that my work with students is having a positive impact on their lives.”