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

Photo Courtesy of LC State

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


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

The award is part of the Idaho Gem Innovative Educator Awards, presented by the Idaho State Board of Education’s General Education Committee and Capital Educators Credit Union (CECU). It’s the third straight year a professor from Lewis-Clark State College has been feted.

Six award winners will be honored at the summit and each received $500 from CECU. The GEM awards recognize outstanding teaching in one of Idaho’s GEM courses. The other five course categories include Written Communication, Oral Communication, Humanistic and Artistic Ways of Knowing, Mathematics Ways of Knowing, and Scientific Ways of Knowing.

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

The judging criteria included evidence the nominee effectively supports student achievement of the General Education Learning Outcomes, designs the GEM courses creatively/innovatively to effectively engage students, and enables non-majors to understand and apply disciplinary methods of inquiry (Ways of Knowing) to expand knowledge and solve problems. Other criteria included efforts to increase access and affordability, engagement in college/university Gen Ed initiatives, mentoring of faculty new to Gen Ed, and participation in statewide Gen Ed summits.

Van Lanen has been teaching 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 & Learning, and is the General Education Committee chair for the LC State Faculty Senate. She’s also active with the college’s 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 standard of academic excellence in instruction, leadership, or scholarship.

Van Lanen earned her history degree at Southern Adventist University in Collegedale, Tenn., and her master’s and Ph.D. at Washington State University. She recently published a book on “The Washington Apple: Orchards and the Development of Industrial Agriculture” that traces the origins, evolution, and environmental consequences of the Washington state apple industry, which supplies more than half of all apples sold in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


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