Wartburg College professor Zak Montgomery is the recipient of the 2019 John O. Chellevold Student Award for Excellence in Teaching and Professional Service.
Montgomery, associate professor of Spanish and the Harry and Polly Slife Professor in Humanities, was honored during the Faculty and Staff Appreciation Event hosted by the Wartburg College Student Senate. Other honorees include Matthew Zart, assistant professor of chemistry, who was named the Advisor of the Year, and Stephanie Klemetson, music tour, camp and promotion manager, who was named the Outstanding Administrative Staff.
Cade Pederson, a senior Spanish and neuroscience major, said Montgomery’s “zeal for teaching is reflected in his dedication to students and in his handling of course material, which translates to greater classroom engagement and a broadened view of the topic in question.”
“Professor Montgomery challenges his students to think beyond the superficial in order to connect concepts and ideas across disciplines, with a healthy dose of sardonic wit, I might add,” Pederson said. “Professor Montgomery has made an indelible mark on my understanding of language, culture, and an interconnected world.”
The Chellevold award honors the late John O. Chellevold, a longtime Wartburg mathematics professor and administrator. It was established by one of his former students, the late Ross Nielsen, a 1939 Wartburg graduate who went on to a distinguished teaching career at the University of Northern Iowa and credited Chellevold as his inspiration.
Student nominators said that in addition to being a professor, Zart is dedicated to seeing his students succeed and provides students with the knowledge and skills needed to pursue their future.
“As an adviser, he is purposeful in communicating with students about their life and ensuring that they are happy with their coursework and progress at Wartburg. He ensures that they are progressing toward their goals and is an open resource for discussion about any topic,” his nominator wrote.
Klemetson’s nominator said she “embodies and strengthens the community by her wonderful spirit. She represents the college well and is a good example of what Wartburg is.”