Congratulations, Eliot!

April 26, 2020

Recently, the Vice Provost for Libraries and University Librarian, Lisa Carter, announced that Eliot Finkelstein was selected to receive the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Service to the University, a highly competitive, campus-level academic staff award.

Eliot, who serves as the Instruction Coordinator for College Library, was nominated by the instructors in the English as a Second Language department, with support from College Library and the Teaching & Learning Programs Office of the General Library System. The award recognizes Eliot’s long-standing support for the ESL program and his continuous efforts to improve and adjust library instruction sessions to meet evolving standards and a growing demand for ESL courses. To give one example, in 2017 Eliot collaborated with the ESL department to develop an innovative “train the trainer” module to meet information literacy demands. Since then he as worked tirelessly to accommodate numerous instruction sessions for a rapidly growing department.

That being said, Eliot’s work on behalf of ESL students is only part of the story. His efforts to ensure student success are reflected in his deep commitment to the experiences of first-year students in all the Communication Requirement courses, as well as the Wisconsin Experience seminar course. He also has a strong record in working with pre-college programs, planning educational experiences for area K12 school groups, the PEOPLE program, and the Information Technology Academy. In addition, Eliot coordinates yearly instruction sessions for the UW Odyssey Project, and this year participated in the new Odyssey Beyond Bars course, visiting students at Oakhill Correctional Institute to provide a research skills class, an effort which truly embodies the Wisconsin Idea.

Furthermore, Eliot regularly serves as an instructor for the information literacy field project course in the UW’s iSchool. In that role he has mentored dozens of graduate students, thereby cultivating teaching acumen in a new generation of library professionals. Often, past students cite their work with Eliot as the transformational experience that helped them land their first professional position.

Eliot Finkelstein is an outstanding librarian and colleague. Students who have the benefit of being in an instruction session he teaches or who encounter him at the reference desk with point-of-need research assistance are very lucky. His ongoing record of dedication to the university and the broader community are award-worthy, indeed.

Congratulations to Eliot for this acknowledgement of the impact of his work on campus and beyond!

Please see the university’s news page for more information on the other recipients of the 2020 Academic Staff Excellence Awards.