Jeffery “Jeff” Tebbe Obituary


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Jeffery “Jeff” Tebbe, a Senior Lecturer for Speech in his 18th year at UW-Platteville, passed away on Thursday, February 16. Tebbe was teaching Speech courses this spring semester and his loss was sudden.

Professor Tebbe spent a lot of time with students and faculty, which helped many long-lasting friendships to form. After almost two decades worth of teaching at UW-Platteville, Jeff created a legacy impacting the campus. He was loved and appreciated by many and will certainly never be forgotten.

Laura Anderson, chair of Performing and Visual Arts, said of Tebbe, “Really, just walking past his classroom was enough to get a sense of how engaged and animated he was in sharing his knowledge and expertise with his students, and how much he truly cared about teaching them communication skills they would use for the rest of their lives.”

Colleagues of Jeff cherish their time spent with him and were inspired by his constant enthusiasm for his students and teachings.

Kory Wein, professor of English and former Interim Dean of LA, reflected on Jeff’s great qualities: “Jeff was an invaluable member of the Speech program. Students enjoyed his friendly personality, enthusiasm and expertise. Even with the challenges created by COVID-19, Jeff made his courses an enjoyable and rewarding learning experience. He will be missed.”

Jeff wanted to see his students succeed. “Jeff was dedicated to his craft and committed to his students. He brought energy and enthusiasm into his classroom and worked closely with students to be successful in their educational journey,” Melissa Gormley, professor of History and former Dean of LAE, added.

He taught general education courses, and his speech class had a significant impact on his students. Jolene Werlein, Communications and Media Manager for the College of LAE and also a UW-Platteville graduate and former student of Tebbe’s said about Tebbe’s impact: “(Professor Tebbe) brought his excitement for public speaking to the classroom, and taught us practical life skills in communication. I remember when a student asked, ‘Why do we have to take this class?’ professor Tebbe responded with real-life, practical answers, giving examples … He used Speech class to teach his students skills that were so extremely important for life in general.”

Jeff worked with the SUCCEED program and mentored students who changed their academic course in the middle of a semester. He prioritized learning from one’s experiences and using change to propel oneself into their new passion.

In class, Jeff’s focus was on helping each student’s confidence levels of public speaking. His focus on students helped them to succeed in life beyond the classroom.

“Professor Tebbe was one of the first people to encourage me to strengthen my public speaking skills. He was a wonderful instructor that cared about each of his students and made public speaking fun,” alumni and current instructor of History and Ethnic Studies at UW-Platteville Winifred Redfearn said.

Undoubtedly, Jeff’s passing will be felt by in the Speech Department and the College of LAE.

Connie Furlan, a colleague of Tebbe’s who held her office close to his in Warner Hall, said she will always remain inspired by his passion and energy for his work. He truly cared about his students. “Jeff was most proud of his work with the SUCCEED program on this campus. Jeff often counseled students who realized they wanted to change majors in the middle of the semester. His favorite lesson to pass on to the incoming freshman was the value of failure as a learning experience. He encouraged students to reflect on choices and mistakes, contemplate change and always be brave enough to follow their passion in a new direction.”

Jeff Tebbe is survived by his wife and fondly remembered by family, friends, colleagues and students at UW-Platteville. Notably, his office is next to our offices of the Exponent, and we will miss our neighbor. Thank you, Jeff, for all that you have done for UW-Platteville with your passions, time and effort.