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Karl E. Espelie

Karl Espelie
Date Honored: 10/03/2005

2005 D.W. Brooks Award for Excellence in Teaching

Department: Entomology

Dr. Karl Espelie, Professor of Entomology in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, received his master's and doctorate degrees in Biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin and his bachelor's degree in Chemistry from Augustana College. He joined the University of Georgia in 1986 as an Associate Research Scientist. Dr. Espelie is a dedicated, enthusiastic, and personable teacher. Having taught every semester for the past 12 years, he has literally taught thousands of UGA students. His courses include the CAES introductory course in Entomology, "Insects and the Environment," and a series of Biology honors courses.

Dr. Espelie's impact on students reaches far beyond the CAES and the Department of Entomology. His personal commitment to academic advising is truly remarkable. He advises some 300 Biology and Pre-Med Majors in the Honors Program while serving as the CAES Pre-Med advisor. He has an excellent track record for placing students in medical school. For example, all seven students he assisted in applying to the Medical College of Georgia in 2004, were admitted.

He has received numerous awards based on his personal commitment to teaching and advising. Most recently, he was named UGA's Outstanding Faculty Advisor in 2005 and he received the Certificate of Merit from the National Academic Advising Association. He received the Lothar Tresp Outstanding Honors Professor Teaching Award in 1996, 2000, and 2003. This is truly an honor as this recognition comes from the brightest and most demanding CAES students. In addition to his commitment to teaching and advising, Dr. Espelie has found time to give lectures and demonstrations each year to grade school students.

Dr. Ray Noblet, Head of the Entomology Department, refers to Dr. Espelie as “an exceptional faculty member with a passion for undergraduate teaching that is truly rare.” Noblet says his understanding of curriculum and the issues facing young people at the undergraduate level makes him a “truly exceptional professor." Dr. Espelie's impact on students can be best characterized by comments he receives on student evaluations. One student wrote, "Dr. Espelie had a knack of making me feel as if I were his only advisee, although I knew that he was giving the same special treatment to hundreds of others." Another student wrote, "I could go on about how stellar Dr. Espelie is. However, I can sum it up by saying that if every student at any college as wonderful as UGA had a professor such as Dr. Espelie, not only would they be better students academically, but more importantly, they would be better people individually. My life is enriched by knowing Dr. Espelie. And, I know for a fact that in the years to come, I will call on Dr. Espelie for his outstanding help, love, guidance and advice. What a wonderful man!"