LC State’s Van Lanen Wins Idaho GEM Innovative Educator Honor


LEWISTON — Amanda Van Lanen, professor of history at Lewis-Clark State College, will be honored for outstanding teaching at the Idaho Gem Innovative Educator Awards ceremony held at the Idaho General Education Summit Idaho in October in Boise.

Van Lanen will be recognized as the 2022 Innovative Educator for Social and Behavioral Ways of Knowing winner at the summit, which will take place October 5-7.

The award is part of the Idaho Gem Innovative Educator Awards, presented by the General Education Committee of the Idaho State Board of Education and Capital Educators Credit Union (CECU). This is the third consecutive year that a Lewis-Clark State College professor has been honored.

Six winners will be honored at the summit and each received $500 from CECU. The GEM awards recognize outstanding teaching in any of Idaho’s GEM courses. The other five course categories include written communication, oral communication, humanistic and artistic ways of knowing, mathematical ways of knowing, and scientific ways of knowing.

Van Lanen was nominated by the LC State General Education Committee. The committee could appoint a faculty member for each category. These nominations were forwarded to the state board’s General Education Committee, which selected the winners.

Judging criteria included evidence that the nominee effectively supports student achievement of general education learning outcomes, designs GEM courses in creative/innovative ways to effectively engage students, and enables non-majors to understand and apply disciplinary methods of inquiry (ways of knowing) to develop knowledge and solve problems. Other criteria included efforts to increase access and affordability, engagement in college/university Gen Ed initiatives, mentorship of faculty new to Gen Ed, and participation in Gen Ed summits across the the state.

Van Lanen has taught at LC State since 2013. In addition to her classes, Van Lanen oversees high-impact practices and new faculty orientation for the college’s Center for Teaching and Learning, and serves as chair of the faculty committee. LC State Faculty Senate General Education. She is also active in the college faculty association, research symposium and other events. In 2019, Van Lanen received the Fernandez Faculty Excellence Award, which recognizes a faculty member who meets the highest standards of academic excellence in teaching, leadership, or scholarship.

Van Lanen earned his history degree from Southern Adventist University in Collegedale, Tennessee, as well as an MA and Ph.D. at Washington State University. She recently published a book on “The Washington Apple: Orchards and the Development of Industrial Agriculture” which traces the origins, evolution and environmental consequences of Washington State’s apple industry, which provides more than half of all apples sold in the United States, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.


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