Douglas Heil, coordinator of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh’s Radio-TV-Film program, has won the prestigious UW System Board of Regents Teaching Excellence Award for 2008.
Heil, who teaches courses in narrative scriptwriting and film production in the University’s Communication Department, will receive the $5,000 award at the Nov. 6 Board of Regents meeting in Madison.
Each year, the Regents honor two instructors from UW System institutions for career achievements in teaching. Another $5,000 award is given to an academic department or program that demonstrates exceptional commitment to and effectiveness in teaching.
This is the eighth UW System Regents Teaching Excellence Award that UW Oshkosh has won, including five for individual professors and three for academic departments. The University has won more than any other campus in UW System.
“The University couldn’t be prouder of Doug and his accomplishments. His teaching philosophy, which encourages students to select general education courses with as much care as those for their major, exemplifies the University’s commitment to the ideals of a liberal education,” said Al Hartman, UW Oshkosh’s interim provost. “At the recent Alumni Awards Banquet, Doug was singled out by an Outstanding Youth Alumni Award winner for being such a positive influence on him and his career.”
Heil joined the UW Oshkosh faculty in 1987. He was awarded the University’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 1999 as well as an endowed professorship in 2001. His book “Prime-Time Authorship” was published in 2002, and his essays and creative works have appeared in a variety of journals. He has produced several short films, including “The Story of the Cat,” which has won more than 10 awards and aired on Cinemax, HBO and Showtime. He also has written a musical, from which seven songs have received citations in songwriting competitions.
“Virtually every student who majors in Radio-TV-Film does so out of an unadulterated passion, which is a great pleasure and privilege to foster,” Heil said. “My teaching goal is to assist each student in pursuing his or her dream while simultaneously preparing each for an alternative Plan B, Plan C and Plan D.”
A native of Clarendon Hills, Ill., Heil earned a bachelor’s degree in rhetoric at the University of Illinois and an MFA in film at Northwestern University.
Past UW Oshkosh recipients of the Regents award include James Grunloh, economics, 1995; chemistry department, 1997; Kenneth Grieb, history and international studies, 1998; Susan McFadden, psychology, 1999; English department, 2001; the department of biology/microbiology, 2005; and John Koker, mathematics, 2006.