UW-Fox Valley Logo

UW-Fox Valley's Brey Named 2003 Wisconsin 'Professor of the Year'

[This page is preserved for historical and reference purposes only.  The information contained on it may no longer be current.]

Award Presented today by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education

Dr. James BreyThe University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley's James A. Brey, Ph.D., Professor of Geography and Geology, has been named the 2003 Wisconsin "Professor of the Year" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). He was selected from among nearly 400 top professors in the United States. Brey is being presented the award today, November 13, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., by Mr. Lee Shulman, President of the Carnegie Foundation, and Mr. Vance Peterson, President of CASE.

"I was surprised when I found out I won the award," Brey said. "I was very pleased just to be nominated, as I feel that in itself is an honor. To be recognized like this, throughout the state...and the nation, is quite a thrill."

Brey has often been cited for his innovative approaches and overall teaching excellence throughout his career. He pioneered the use of technology in many of his classes. Included among the recognition he has received are the National Council for Geographic Education Distinguished Teaching Achievement Award, 2001; the UW Colleges Kaplan Fellow Award, 1994-1995 and 2000-2001; E-Learning Design Award (a national award for teaching through the use of on-line technology), 2000; UWFox Teacher of the Year, 1997; Appleton Rotary Cutting Edge Teaching Award, 1995.

He has long been an advocate of the learning community approach to science instruction. Brey has been active in the American Meteorological Society Education Program's teacher enhancement efforts. He has recently contributed to the development of DataStreme Oceans and offers workshops with Geographical Information Systems technology. He was an early user of the AMS undergraduate course curriculum, Online Weather Services, which he helped create while on sabbatical leave as Scientist in Residence at the AMS Education Office in Washington, D.C., during 1998-1999. He is also a member, as well as past President and Vice President, of the Packerland Chapter of the National Council on Geographic Education.

He graduated from Sheboygan South High School, and attended the University of Wisconsin-Sheboygan, earning the Associate of Arts degree. He later transferred to UW-Madison, where he attained a Bachelor of Arts in Geography. He continued his higher education at the state's flagship campus, earning a Master's of Science degree in Physical Geography and later achieving the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Geography.

"I never thought I'd be a teacher when I finished my doctoral work," he reflected. Brey began his teaching career for the UW Colleges when he was a lecturer and academic program administrator at the Kettle Moraine Correctional Institution, from 1982 to 1990. He came to UWFox in 1990 as an Assistant Professor of Geography. He became an Associate Professor in 1995, and was promoted to full Professor in 2001.

Brey has over 20 professional publications to his credit. He's made nearly 70 presentations at various professional conferences, seminars and training sessions, and received in excess of 40 grants for his research and studies. He has been active in campus leadership at UWFox and in the UW System. A resident of Chilton, Brey has also been an active member of the Calumet County Emergency Planning Committee since 1991.

He has been married to Celeste Lehrer for 24 years, and they have three daughters: Catrine (a junior at UW-Madison); Mireille (a sophomore at Chilton HS); and Gabrielle (a freshman at Chilton HS). Brey is the son of Shirley Brey and the late Arnold Brey of Sheboygan.

CASE established Professors of the Year program in 1981 and the Carnegie Foundation became the co-sponsor a year later. TIAA-CREF, one of America's leading financial services organizations and higher education's premier retirement system, became the primary sponsor for the awards ceremony in 2000. Additional support for the program is received from the American Association of Community Colleges and other various higher education associations.

This year, according to CASE, there are winners in 43 states. CASE assembled two preliminary panels of judges to select the finalists. The Carnegie Foundation then convened the third and final panel, which selected four national winners and state winners. Brey was selected from faculty members nominated by colleges and universities throughout the country.

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching was founded in 1905 by Andrew Carnegie to "do all things necessary to encourage, uphold, and dignify the profession of teaching." The Foundation is the only advanced-study center in the world for teachers and the third-oldest foundation in the nation. Its not-for-profit research activities are conducted by a small group of distinguished scholars.

The Council for Advancement and Support of Education is the largest international association of educational institutions, with more than 3,200 colleges, universities, and independent elementary and secondary schools in nearly 50 countries, including the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the United Kingdom. Representing these institutions are more than 38.000 professionals in the disciplines of alumni relations, communications, and fund raising. Additional affiliates include educationally related not-for-profit organizations and commercial firms.

Posted 11/13/2003