Catherine Welch, professor in Educational Measurement and Statistics at the University of Iowa College of Education, was honored with a 2023 Regents Award for Faculty Excellence. She is one of six UI faculty receiving the honor this year.
The award is given to University of Iowa faculty members for their exceptional contributions and sustained record of excellence.
As Feldt Faculty Scholar and co-director of the Iowa Testing Programs, Welch is highly regarded for her expertise in student assessment in K-12 education. Her work has shaped the assessment landscape in the state and country. She is also an alumna, receiving three degrees from Iowa - her Bachelor of Business Administration from the Tippie College of Business as well as two College of Education degrees - a Master of Arts and doctoral degree in Educational Measurement and Statistics.
"Cathy is an outstanding faculty member who puts the needs of the state, university, and college before her own. Her service to our college through her teaching cannot be underestimated. She makes an extraordinary impact on students and programs by lending her expertise outside of her discipline," says Megan Foley Nicpon, director of the Belin-Blank Center and one of Welch's nominators.
Dedicated to teaching and mentoring, Welch has played a crucial role in creating materials for the M.A. in teaching, leadership, and cultural competence (MATLCC) program and providing instruction and advising in the educational measurement and statistics program
Her extensive service record includes contributions to the National Council on Measurement in Education, the National Research Council on Developing Assessments for Science Standards, and the Statewide Assessment System Advisory Committee.
Her research on assessment practices has earned her numerous awards, including three Distinguished Research Awards from the Iowa Educational Research and Evaluation Association and six Inventor Awards from the University of Iowa.
"Professor Welch exemplifies qualities that draw attention to members of the university community from external audiences. Her scholarship is respected by researchers and leads directly to products and services needed by practicing educators and policymakers," says Stephen Dunbar, co-director of Iowa Testing Programs, professor in Educational Measurement and Statistics, and another of Welch's nominators. "Her teaching reaches both students and the professional communities they join upon graduation. Her outreach connects the University of Iowa to the public it serves. Leadership is the common element in all of her professional endeavors."
To learn more about all of this year's recipients, read this Iowa Now story.