Profile of Bradley Caskey, Professor of Psychology, UW-River Falls (Oct 7, 2005)
Professor of Psychology, University of Wisconsin-River Falls
2005 Regents Teaching Excellence Award Recipient
Background and Experience (Selected)
- Joined the UW-River Falls faculty in 1990.
- B.S.Ed. UW-River Falls (1980); M.S. and Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Purdue University.
- Department Chair and member of Women's Studies Faculty.
- Nationally renowned author of test bank questions (over 10,000 questions written): his engaging and valid multiple-choice and essay exam questions are used by faculty all over the country.
- Nationally known author of text book manuals for instructors, including activities to help instructors engage students in classroom learning.
- Consulting editor for psychology student journal dedicated to publishing undergraduate student research.
- Recipient of UW-River Falls' highest awards in both teaching and advising, the only faculty member to have received both such honors.
- Received recognition from the Chamber of Commerce for his community service and from the College of Arts & Sciences at River Falls as the recipient of a new Outstanding Community Service Award.
- Offers on his own time a GRE prep course for all students at River Falls who are considering graduate school.
- Mentor in the McNair scholarship program, designed to provide minority or first-generation students with research expertise that can enhance their ability to go to graduate school.
- Recognized by students and colleagues alike for the sensitivity he brings to controversial topics in the classroom, and for the focus in his teaching, research, and service on under-represented populations.
In Professor Caskey's own words:
- "I believe that one of the most critical aspects of effective teaching is to provide students with a clear set of expectations concerning your course. As a result, every syllabi that I hand out and review with students begins with a set of course goals that I view as critical. These goals focus on both student and instructor responsibilities and expectations."
- "While I make a concerted effort to create an enjoyable classroom atmosphere, I also believe that the classroom should be a place where students should expect to be prepared to contribute to society upon graduation. [This is] a goal that should be met by all courses, especially those within a liberal arts discipline, and such preparation must involve them being academically challenged by their instructors. As a cognitive-developmental psychologist, I am convinced that critical thinking in the classroom is most likely to take place either when a student is asked to acquire new information or when they must challenge what they already know."
In the words of his students:
- "Dr. Caskey is truly a remarkable teacher in the classroom. Over the course of my undergraduate career, I was fortunate to have taken several of his courses. In my experience, Dr. Caskey stood out from all my other professors as a result of his ability to connect with his students. Despite the large enrollment in many of his courses, he made the effort to know his students on an individual basis and communicated genuine interest in his students' well-being. Furthermore, Dr. Caskey possessed a unique ability to present information in a captivating manner that sparked critical thinking about issues in psychology. Lastly, his enthusiasm and sense of humor engaged students and made learning enjoyable."
- Amelia S. Versland, McNair Scholar and Psychology Graduate, currently enrolled in a psychology Ph.D. program at Bowling Green State University.
- "Dr. Caskey is by far the most approachable faculty member I know (. . . ) and is as admirable and respected inside the classroom as he is outside. I have never had a professor who is as animated and excited as Brad is when he teaches. He clearly enjoys his job. I can listen to him for hours and never get bored, which is something I cannot say about many other professors. . . . Early on in my undergraduate career, I made the decision to transfer to another UW school. But the more time I spent getting to know the students and faculty in the psychology department, the more I felt like part of a family. With Brad being the department chair, it is clear that this is the type of environment that he has helped create and maintain."
- Michelle Gryczkowski, Psychology Major, UW-River Falls.
In the words of his colleagues:
- "Throughout his tenure at UW-River Falls, [Dr. Caskey] has provided excellent, enthusiastic instruction for his students. His courses are challenging, yet very well received. He has an engaging personality, great sense of humor, and relates well to his students. His genuine love of his discipline and the teaching profession are clearly evident both inside and outside the classroom. . . . [Dr. Caskey] makes numerous presentations to community groups and professional organizations. These presentations are related to areas in developmental/life span psychology and teaching techniques. He shares his expertise with his colleagues and other faculty members by writing study guides, resource materials, and teaching aids. He has taught college level psychology to high school students using our distance learning classrooms. He continues to mentor young high school teachers by visiting and making presentations in their classrooms."
- Michael J. Reich, Professor of Psychology, UW-River Falls
- "First, let me say that no other faculty member I have worked with has been more supporting of teaching and teaching well than Brad [Caskey]. As a new assistant professor, who had never taught so many new courses before, Brad was simply the most supportive member of my department (and I am in a VERY supportive department). It was clear then, six years ago, and still is today that Brad is deeply committed to teaching and to the learning of students. . . . I can say sincerely, that I would not be the kind of teacher I am today without Brad as a mentor and role model. I am very grateful to him for his deep commitment to teaching and learning."
- Cyndi Kernahan, Assistant Professor of Psychology, UW-River Falls
Return to Oct. 7, 2005 Regents meeting news summary