Drake University Faculty Honors

Distinguished Professorships and Chairs


Guidelines, Purpose, and Selection Criteria

Levitt Awards

  • 2015 Madelyn M. Levitt Excellence in Teaching Award
  • Matthew Mitchell

The Teacher of the Year award was established to recognize faculty who exhibit an informed mind in inspirational dialogue with students, rigor in intellectual endeavors, and a contagious enthusiasm for their subject matter. 

Matthew Mitchell, Assistant Professor of International Business, is recognized for his selfless devotion to the mission of the college and the needs of students. He is able to adapt to diverse students with different learning styles and skill sets, using Skype or Panopto in the classroom so students can interact with foreign counterparts or observe their own behavior in interactive role-plays. He has made a superb effort to work with undergraduate students on research topics that the students have presented at international conferences and or published in peer-reviewed journals. This past J-term he created with a colleague a course for Drake’s student athletes that took them to Mexico. A commitment to global citizenship has also led to developing relationships with universities in Chile to further the mission of the college to “bring the world into the classroom”.



  • 2015 Madelyn M. Levitt Mentor Award
  • Melissa Klimaszewski

The Mentor of the Year award was established to recognize faculty and staff who are committed to student success in and out of the classroom.

Melisa Klimaszewski, Associate Professor of English, was described by her nominators as someone who is a generous, thoughtful, dedicated mentor and advisor and who has an extraordinary commitment to making herself useful and accessible to students in and out of the classroom.  She is praised for her fairness and for keeping her students and mentees welfare in mind, always demonstrating a high level of integrity.  Professor Klimaszewski has been the faculty advisor for the Coalition of Black Students and was the co-founder of Crew Scholars, a program aimed at students of color committed to standing together to support each other's success, academic excellence, and leadership growth, Her nominator concluded by stating that she has no doubt that any future success that she has will be due to her outstanding mentor’s unrelenting support.


University News
April 29, 2016
When Brytani Cavil addresses Drake University’s graduating class of 2016 as the top graduating senior, she aims to inspire more than her fellow students. She hopes to set an example for her two-year-old twins.