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Center for Faculty Excellence

The Apgar Award for Excellence in Teaching
Apgar Award Summary


This award has been established to recognize, encourage, and reward faculty members at the Academy by supporting teaching projects that improve cadet learning. Donated by The Honorable Mahlon Apgar, IV, former Assistant Secretary of the Army, this cash award (usually between $300-$500, but it can be as high as $1,000) is presented along with the “Apgar medallion” which Apgar2.jpg serves as a memento of the recipient’s accomplishment. In addition, the recipient's name is placed on the Apgar award plaque (pictured) located in the Center for Faculty Excellence. Recipients' names and the titles of their projects are listed below.


Military and civilian faculty members who have taught at the Academy for one year or more are eligible for this Award. Preference will be given to junior faculty members whose projects show promise for affecting the largest number of learners and who have demonstrated promise as outstanding teachers, both in their impact on students in and outside the classroom and in their contributions to the art and methods of teaching.

Selection Criteria

Three criteria of special relevance to the Award’s purpose, the Academy’s educational needs, and the donor’s interests will be used in evaluating candidates’ proposed projects:

  • the faculty member’s contribution and commitment to developing and/or applying innovative concepts and methods of teaching that expand the cadets' horizons and their potential contributions as leaders and Army officers; (Note that although awards can be made for projects in development that show excellent promise, preference will be given to those projects that have been implemented and can demonstrate impact on cadet learning).
  • the faculty member’s commitment to new teaching pedagogy and skill development among teaching peers;
  • the project’s effectiveness in contributing to leader development — with special emphasis on developing integrity, responsibility, and creativity. (Note that the project may emphasize one or more of the criteria but need not address all three to be viable.)

Selection Procedure

The Superintendent will select each Award recipient, based on a nomination from the Dean of the Academic Board. The CFE Advisory Committee (representing all academic departments, DMI, and DPE) will make recommendations to the Dean based on submissions received by the Committee in accordance with the announced submission date.

Submission date for this academic year’s award is 1600 hours, Friday, 13 April, 2018. Decision requires confirmation by the Superintendent, is expected to be announced at the 14 May, 2018 Academic Luncheon, and the award will be conferred at the Fall Academic Convocation.


Please submit nominations for the award to the CFE according to the following format in four single-spaced pages, exclusive of endorsement(s):

  • Name of nominee
  • Academic rank
  • Department
  • Description of the Project (Description should indicate how project fulfills selection criteria and emphasize impact on learning — either assessed through implementation or assumed from a citation of the literature on teaching and learning).
  • Needs (The monetary award is intended to support the project. Needs can be materials for additional development — e.g., purchase of software or other media; supplies or equipment — or travel for presentation of the project to suitable audiences; a formal conference acceptance is not needed, simply the intention to pursue presentation).
  • Endorsement of Department Head (This is intended to certify the value of the proposed project in relation to the department's mission and discipline. If there is another individual who can better speak to the project’s value and impact, then that individual may submit an endorsement instead of the Dept. Head – this decision should be evaluated between the submitter and the respective Dept. Head. Only one letter of endorsement per submission.)

Electronic Submissions Required

The four-page project submission plus the endorsement letter should be scanned and emailed to Dr. Mark Evans, CFE Director, by the due date for ease of submission to the review panel.


Individual departments are NOT limited to one nomination annually. All projects that conform to the Apgar selection criteria may be nominated. Questions about this award and/or the selection process may be addressed to any member of the CFE Advisory Committee or directly to Mark Evans or Stephen Finn at the CFE

Selection Process

The Selection Committee for the Apgar Award will review all nominations according to the following evaluation form and then will meet for discussion to arrive at consensus for a recommendation to the Dean and the Superintendent. Click here for the Apgar Award Nomination Review and Recommendation Form. Click here for Dean's Policy and Operating Memorandum 05-06 (DPOM-05-06) detailing the award process and criteria.

Apgar Award for Excellence in Teaching.docxApgar Award for Excellence in Teaching.docx

Apgar Award Recipients
2017 MAJ John Spencer, CPT Jake Miraldi, and SFC William Rothrock, Department of Military Instruction; “Military Curriculum Digital Textbook Program.”
2016​ ​LTC Christopher Korpela, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and LTC Mike Saxon, Department of English and Philosophy; "Ethics of Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems."
2015 MAJ Jason Garneau, Mr. Darrin Griffin, and Dr.Sherry Venere, (Department of Foreign Languages), “Facebook and the L2 Classroom: Engaging 21st Century Students”
2014​ MAJ Matthew Cavanaugh, Defense & Strategic Studies Program (Department of Military Instruction), "War Council: Supporting the Study of the Use of Force"
2013 MAJ Nathaniel Davis and MAJ Patrick Heim, Department of Strategic Studies/Department of Military Instruction, "Insurgency Exercise"
2012​ MAJ Katie Matthew, Department of Behavioral Science and Leadership and MAJ Andrew Pfluger, Department of Geology and Environmental Engineering, "Taking Course Projects to the Community: An Interdepartmental Approach to Promoting Energy Security and Lifelong Environmental Leaders"
2011 MAJ Kent Park and MAJ Lee Robinson, Department of Social Sciences, "The Congressional Simulation Exercise"
2010 MAJ Aram Donigian and Mr. Jeff Weiss, Department of Behavioral Science and Leadership, "The Leader as Negotiator Simulation"
MAJ Adam Chalmers and LTC Steven Hart, Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering, "Designing a Comprehensive Civil Engineering Capstone"
2009 MAJ Donald (Sam) Abbott-McCune, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, "Building a Reconfigurable Network Lab"

MAJ Victoria Campbell, Department of History, “Get Wiki’d; Three Simple Ways to Improve Class Preparation, Discussion, and Performance”


MAJ Raymond Kimball, History, “High-Tech Teaching in a Low-Tech Discipline: The Blended History Classroom”


Dr Gary Solis, Law, “Development Of a Law Of Armed Conflict Instructional Program Appropriate for Today's Junior Army Officers”

2005 Major Christina Schweiss, SOCSCI, “SS490B – ‘Winning the Peace’”
2004 COL Scott Hampton, MAJ Jamie Efaw, MAJ Silas Martinez, MAJ Toya Davis, and MAJ Samantha Breton, BS&L, “PL100, General Psychology for Leaders”
Dr. Peter Hanlon, EE&CS, “Hands-on Mini Projects in EE&CS”
2003 MAJ Reid Sawyer, SOCSCI, “Terrorism: New Challenges for Security Professionals”
2002 Mr. Wayne Schepens, LTC Dan Ragsdale, COL Don Welch, EE&CS, “Annual Inter-Academy CyberDefend Exercise”
LTC Edward Naessens, Physics, “Army Applications in the Core Physics Program”
2001 LTC Jerry Schumacher, EE&CS
2000 Dr. Morten Ender, MAJ Janet Chapman, and MAJ Susan Lee-Kratz, BS&L, “Service Learning, General Psychology, and the United States Military Academy”
Mr. Lynn Fielitz, Dr. Susan Tendy, and Dr. Larry Butler, DPE, “Gymnastics Video Web Page”
1999 MAJ William Metheny, BS&L, “A Mentor Program for Cadet Troop Leader Training: Integrating Classroom and Field Experience”
1998 Dr. Gregory J. Gassner, DPE, “Motor Learning’ in the Plebe Boxing Course”
1997 LTC Charles Powell and CPT Vince Tedesco