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History and Anthropology Professor named Beloit Rotary Club Teacher of the Month

Monday, January 23, 2012

MEDIA CONTACT: Hilary Dickinson at dickinsonh@beloit.edu or 608-363-2849

The Beloit Rotary Club has named Beloit College Professor of History and Anthropology Rob LaFleur its “Teacher of the Month.” An award ceremony is scheduled to be presented Tuesday at noon in the Rotary River Center, 1220 Riverside Dr.

“It’s for teachers in the whole area, so that means a lot to me because we’re all in this together,” LaFleur said. “The third grade teacher, the 11th grade teacher and I have a bunch in common, and that’s what this award celebrates.”

Area elementary, secondary and higher education teachers are indeed eligible for this award, which is periodically given throughout the year by the Rotary Club, according to Tom Warren, the chair of the Rotary Teacher of the Month Committee.

LaFleur was nominated by Provost and Dean of Beloit College Ann Davies, and he was subsequently selected by the Rotary Teacher of the Month Committee.

“Rob is a powerful shaper of his students’ lives,” said Davies, sharing some of the remarks that will be made at the award ceremony. “He offers them an inspiring stance toward the world – one filled with deep curiosity, sheer exuberance in the life of the mind, high expectations, and a stubborn refusal to believe that connections can’t be drawn between things that seem polar opposites.”

LaFleur also uses his blog to share and debate knowledge outside the traditional classroom, Davies noted. Titled “Round and Square,” his blog covers topics on everything from authenticity and ostracism to the Tour de France and the ethnography of “Seinfeld.”

LaFleur has 20 years of experience as an educator, 13 of which have been at Beloit College.

In the past, LaFleur has also received the Underkofler Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award from the Alliant Energy Foundation for his teaching at Beloit in 2001 and 2011, and the Charles S. Bassett Teaching Award in 1998 from Colby College. He was also a finalist for the American Historical Association’s Eugene S. Asher Excellence in Teaching Award in 2010.

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