Bishop Herbert Welch Meritorious Teaching Award (2006)

2005-2006 Commencement Ceremony Excerpt

I am delighted to announce that the winner of the Welch Award for the Year 2006 is professor of zoology, Dr. Edward H. Burtt, Jr.

Better known to his colleagues as Jed and his students as “bird man” Dr. Burtt graduated with honors in Biology from Bowdoin College and then went on to earn the M.S. and Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of Wisconsin. He taught briefly at the University of Tennessee before accepting a position at OWU in 1977. He·was promoted to associate professor in 1983 and to full professor in 1987.

Dr. Burtt is a model teacher-scholar. He has published several books on the topic of the significance of color on the behavior of birds and has been very active in different national associations of field ornithologists. He has written over 40 research articles and frequently presents his research at professional meetings. Perhaps more remarkable, however, are not the number of professional publications but the fact that many of these publications were co­ authored with Ohio Wesleyan students providing concrete evidence of his commitment to involve students in his research.

Jed has received numerous federal grants to support his research and student training programs and along with his colleague Jan Ichida also holds a patent on poultry feather-degrading bacteria.

Jed’s service to the university is much too extensive to describe today, but as an example Jed regularly assists our admission department in recruiting new students and our alumni relations department in providing presentations to alumni groups literally across the globe. Recently Dr. Burtt was named co- director of our University’s Honors Program.

Dr. Burtt is, according to his students, and in their words: “an amazing Professor,” “informative,” “enthusiastic,” “creative,” “challenging,” “caring,” “demanding,”  “encouraging,”     “approachable,”  “dedicated,” “understanding,” “supportive,”  “thought-provoking,” and “extraordinary.”

As one student put it: “Dr. Burtt encourages students take his class very seriously while at the same time encourages students to enjoy themselves. He is passionate about this subject. I now love birds.” Another added, “he will even demonstrate his lecture points by running back and forth across the room, flapping his arms like a bird. Professor Burtt rocks!”

Truly, little more can be said.

Jed, congratulations!

Interview