Winona State University statistics and data science Professor Tisha L. Hooks has been selected as Professor of the Year.

The Professor of the Year designation is awarded annually by the WSU Student Senate on behalf of the student body. Students vote for a professor that goes above and beyond for their students. These professors serve as exemplars in being accommodating, accountable, engaging to students, making an effort to have their curriculum relevant to daily life, and aiming to make their courses affordable for students to participate in. This award is run through Student Senate, but it is voted and decided by all students.

A professor in the WSU Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Hooks has been teaching at Winona State since 2006. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from the University of Nebraska at Kearney and a PhD in Statistics from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln.

Hooks, who initially had no intention of teaching, heeded the call to the classroom during graduate school, and she has never looked back. “Showing students the value of statistics and helping them succeed – especially when they thought they couldn’t, was extremely fulfilling. It still is today.”

Initially taken by surprise, Hooks is honored and grateful to have been chosen among “so many gifted teachers across campus…we pour so much of ourselves into our jobs as educators, and though we don’t expect to be recognized for our efforts, hearing that we have made a difference certainly helps to fill us back up again.”

Hooks honors the collective experience and professional collaboration of her WSU colleagues, with special thanks to her fellow statisticians and data scientists, saying “They are continually striving for excellence, which also pushes me to be the best teacher I can be. Together we have spent countless hours developing a curriculum that is relevant, engaging, and effective.”

“This award is special to me because it comes from the students, confirmation that I am helping students in the ways I had hoped when I changed my career path years ago. I just feel lucky to be a part of it all.”



For more information, contact University Communications at 507-457-5024.

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Emily Vander Laan

Emily is a Public Relations major and Creative Digital Media minor. She is from Lake City, Minnesota and her hobbies include hanging out with friends, reading and writing.