Two CAHSS Professors receive Morse-Alumni Award

Feb 27, 2023

The UMD College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences joins the University of Minnesota system community in congratulating two colleagues – Ryan Bergstom and Burke Scarbrough – who are among this year’s ten recipients of the prestigious Horace T. Morse-Minnesota Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education.


“It is fitting that two educators so committed to student success in and out of the classroom should be recognized with this award,” said CAHSS Dean Jeremy Youde. “Our College is lucky to have two professors being recognized for this kind of work this year, and they embody the strong dedication to students that is a hallmark of CAHSS.”

A member of the UMD Department of Geography and Philosophy, Ryan Bergstrom was praised for his “dedication, empathy, and clear explanations” in an announcement of the award. He was recognized for designing his courses to guide students from abstract concepts to real world applications of geography. Also cited were his efforts as the departmental internship coordinator leading over 100 students to transition from degree to the workplace.

Burke Scarbrough — of the UMD Department of English, Linguistics, & Writing Studies

— teaches with an infectious passion for language arts and literacy pedagogy, according to the award announcement. Students emphasized that his clarity and organization help him to design engaging challenges and set high expectations for his students. He was praised as a model of collaboration, community engagement, and lifelong learning through his advising and teaching of pre-service educators as well as his research and service partnerships with in-service teachers. His pursuit of equity through his pedagogical research, teaching, and coordination of two UMD programs was also cited.

Recipients of the Morse - Alumni Award are inducted into the University of Minnesota's Academy of Distinguished Teachers and hold the title of Distinguished University Teaching Professor throughout the rest of their careers in the University of Minnesota.

Bergstom and Scarbrough join Mitra Emad (Studies in Justice, Culture, & Social Change; current CAHSS Associate Dean), Tom Isbell (Theatre), and Justin Rubin (Music) as current members of CAHSS who have received this illustrious distinction.

Learn more about the Morse-Alumni Award.