Lakeland University's Karin Miofsky, associate professor of criminal justice, is the 2018 winner of the annual Underkofler Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award.
Miofsky, who joined the Lakeland faculty in 2014, is Lakeland's 27th winner of the Underkofler, which recognizes outstanding performance in undergraduate teaching. The award was presented on April 11 at Lakeland's annual Honors Banquet.
Miofsky has developed a reputation at Lakeland for being a strong teacher, a collaborative colleague and a student-centered advisor.
Richard Lemke, also an associate professor of criminal justice and the 2015 Underkofler winner, said support for Mifosky during the nomination process settled into four themes – authentically present, intellectually challenging, selfless and professionally inspiring.
Lemke said Miofsky consistently puts the needs of her students and the institution ahead of her own, and nurtures students' professional goals by helping them develop a cognitive tool kit and pushing them to always be at their best.
One student nomination said, "Dr. Miofsky has always gone above and beyond for her students. If you are going through something, she is very understanding and will work with you, and she takes a personal interest in the success of all of her students. She does a phenomenal job of preparing students for real life after graduation."
Another student said. "Dr. Miofsky is always willing to help students out with almost anything, even if it doesn't relate to her classes. She is very motivated to see her students succeed and is willing to go the extra mile to help them."
Students said her classes are challenging, making them all the more rewarding upon completion.
"If you want a career in the criminal justice field, Dr. Miofsky will help prepare you for this career," one student said. "Expect to be challenged so that you can be the best student and future employee possible. A class taught by Dr. Miofsky is not one that you can skate through, and you will feel incredibly proud of yourself when you complete the class."
In addition to her classroom teaching, Miofsky has served Lakeland as a faculty advisor to three student organizations, supported the Starfish implementation team and provided her expertise in Lakeland's ThinkHaus series and the School for Seniors in Neenah.
"In Karin's short time at Lakeland not only has she demonstrated great teaching, but the admiration of the students, said Brian Frink, dean of Lakeland's School of Science, Technology & Education. "But, above all that, she has modeled great teaching for her fellow faculty members."
Miofsky earned her Ph.D. in criminology and criminal justice from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Her primary areas of interest explore patterns of bullying and victimization within schools, the conceptualization of teen sexting and the nature of community crime control. She has written about and presented on these areas extensively.
Prior to earning her Ph.D., Miofsky earned her master's in criminology and criminal justice from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She received a bachelor's in psychology and criminal justice from Saint Louis University.
Before joining Lakeland's faculty, Miofsky served as an assistant professor at the University of Hartford in Connecticut.
The Underkofler Award is presented through the Alliant Energy Foundation and the Wisconsin Foundation for Independent Colleges, Inc. The Underkofler Endowment Fund was created in honor of past Wisconsin Power & Light president and chairman James R. Underkofler to recognize his 48 years of service to the utility industry.