2013 University Awards

Karl G. Maeser Distinguished Faculty Lecturer Award

This award, BYU’s most prestigious faculty award, is provided through the generosity of the Karl G. Maeser Scholarship Society. The recipient must have demonstrated clear superiority in both scholarship and teaching.

John D. Lamb

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Lamb is an outstanding example of a “university citizen”—one whose interests transcend the narrowly defined areas of a specific discipline. An inorganic chemist, he has published extensively, and his work is widely cited. Supported by a nearly continuous stream of external funding, his scientific contributions have been recognized with numerous awards.  During his 36 years at BYU, Lamb has willingly served on a number of university committees and in department, college, and university administration. A master at teaching and innovation, he regularly involves undergraduates in his laboratory and has long championed the use of technology to assist student learning. When textbooks have failed to provide the level of understanding his students need, he has produced his own materials to teach fundamental principles and expose students to critical thinking and problem solving.


Alumni Professorship Award

This award honors a faculty member for teaching excellence.  The award carries a three-year stipend made possible by the generosity of the BYU Alumni Association.

Tony R. Martinez

Computer Science

Tony has a gift for teaching technical topics and relating those topics to gospel principles. Students have described their experiences in his classes as “excellent,” “phenomenal,” “great,” and “amazing.” Perhaps the thing his students most remember about Martinez is his love of the gospel and his commitment to BYU. He instills in his students a love of learning and of the gospel and motivates them to be their best. A former student stated, “I received more spiritual promptings, answers, and impressions during this class than in any other nonreligion class.”  Tony is also an outstanding scholar who has authored over 140 peer-reviewed papers.


Karl G. Maeser Excellence in Teaching Award

This award honors faculty for outstanding teaching accomplishments and is made possible by the generosity of the Karl G. Maeser Scholarship Society.

William F. Christensen


William is being recognized, in part, for his outstanding teaching and mentoring of undergraduate statistics majors, teaching a capstone graduate course, and introducing data research to large audiences of general education students. He is enthusiastic about his discipline, uses real-life situations and current events in his instruction, and enlivens his lectures with optimism and humor. William’s student evaluations are always extraordinary, and peer reviews of his teaching material include comments on his thoughtful and coherent course organization. An ambitious extension of his course preparation for Statistics 666 was revising the most popular multivariate analysis textbook. A distinguished scholar with papers in top-tier journals, William researches statistical methods to identify the source of air pollutants.


Karl G. Maeser Excellence in Teaching Award

This award honors faculty for outstanding teaching accomplishments and is made possible by the generosity of the Karl G. Maeser Scholarship Society.

Dan A. Ventura

Computer Science

Dan has a natural gift for taking difficult theoretical concepts and making them understandable for every student in his class. He approaches each student interaction with enthusiasm and a desire to help that student learn and succeed. While students agree that his classes are difficult, they also rave about the tremendous amount they learn under his skillful tutelage.  Dan’s rigor, coupled with genuine interest, is reflected in the comments students make and the consistently high ratings they give in his course evaluations. His teaching and research complement each other. He has been a pioneer in the area of computational creativity and has published over 65 peer-reviewed papers with the students he has mentored.


Alcuin Fellowship Award

This award recognizes outstanding teacher-scholars whose work at the university transcends the limits of their disciplines and who have made significant contributions to the general education and honors curriculum.

David V. Dearden

Chemistry and Biochemistry

David is a dedicated teacher who is committed to fostering student learning. He has taught a number of General Education classes and even designed the course Late Summer Honors 101 with the intent to reach out to incoming freshmen to get them excited about scientific exploration. David’s love of science and learning are clearly demonstrated to students who are just starting their university educational pursuits.  He has made significant contributions to the ongoing development of Physical Science 100, including writing three chapters of the revised text for the 2009 edition of the textbook, Physical Science Foundations. David’s commitment to teaching and general education through consistent hard work and self-improvement is indicative of his commitment to his students.


Technology Transfer Award

This award recognizes faculty who have made significant research contributions that have led to the development of useful commercial products.

Chuck D. Knutson

Computer Science

Chuck has made significant research contributions that have led to the development of useful commercial products. As director of BYU’s Software Engineering Quality: Observation, Insight, and Analysis (SEQuOIA) lab, he oversees ongoing research in several different areas.  Chuck instills his love of technology with his students as he shares his knowledge with them. He has been involved in a long-term project relating to Internet safety with the aim to provide all the necessary information for individuals about Internet safety.


President’s Appreciation Award

This award recognizes staff and administrative personnel for exceptional service creativity and competence.

Sue H. Mortensen

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Sue routinely exceeds expectations in the department.  She has the remarkable talent of making everyone she deals with think that their project or request is the most important.  During the past two years particularly, Sue has gone well beyond her normal duties.  She spearheaded the development of a Code of Ethics for the department TAs and staff which articulates the standards and expectations for TAs.  This is distributed to each TA and Sue provides relevant training.  Sue also created an online assessment tool within Learning Suite that allows the department to obtain evaluations of their TAs from all of the students in their classes.  Sue is extraordinarily efficient, pleasant, and in all ways a wonderful example of cheerful service.