Pullout: Report of the Provost's Committee on Distributed Learning


What They Say About the 1998 Lindback and Provost's Award Winners

Some excerpts from the dossiers that led to the selection of ten who will be honored Thursday. See the Interim Provost's invitation to the celebration, on the cover.

In Non-Health Schools

Dr. Peter Davies, a member of the Engineering faculty for 15 years and sometime graduate group chair of Materials Science: Dozens of students attesting to his remarkable work in designing the new curriculum for Chemistry 101 for engineering students, and in leading the way in introducing a multimedia component into lectures to highlight concepts difficult to express on the blackboard. In addition to his highly rated work with undergraduates, Professor Davies has supervised numerous dissertations and receives equally high praise from graduate students, many of whom have gone on to pursue research careers: "By encouraging me to write papers and present my work at conferences, Peter helped me prepare for a career in the 'real' scientific world, " writes one; another says "Dr. Davies' personal commitment to helping each of his students achieve their highest potential enriched my graduate education and has permanently influenced my life." A colleague concludes that "Peter Davies is a highly creative scholar and outstanding teacher . . . "

Dr. Lorin Hitt, who joined the Wharton faculty in 1996 after receiving his Ph.D. from MIT: A colleague calls him "an indispensable member of the undergraduate teaching team" who rapidly turned Information: Strategy, Systems, and Economics from a low-level technology to high-level strategy course and tripled demand for it." A student predicts "I know that when I reflect on my years at Penn, I will feel fortunate to have stumbled upon the classroom of Dr. Hitt. When we are all established in our respective fields and students are studying or creating business plans in Hitt Hall, Justice will be served." Other words of praised: "exceptional teacher in the classroom...a true mentor...the most accessible professor I have had in Wharton... "unmatched in his ability to teach, to advise, and to lead students."

Dr. Kathleen Jamieson, who joined the the Annenberg School in 1989 as Dean and is now involved in the establishment of a Public Policy Center. Outstanding SCUE evaluations and support from students is "legendary." Students frequently mention a lasting influence on their professional choices, some changing majors and direction because of her. "Dean Jamieson is brilliant, but, more importantly, she has found a way through her teaching and mentoring to make that knowledge meaningful to her students." She involves undergraduate and graduate students in her research. A colleague notes: "By my conservative estimate, at least 66 undergraduates and 106 graduates students have participated in sponsored research for which she has been the principal investigator." A student writes: "If you have ever wanted to hear the sound of a pin dropping in a room of 150 people, I recommend you sit in on one of Kathleen Hall Jamieson's classes. If the standard of what the Lindback Award represents includes a gift for teaching, a personal commitment to education, and support of Penn students beyond what occurs in the classroom, then the Committee could ask for no finer nominee that Kathleen Hall Jamieson."


Seth Kreimer, appointed to the Law School faculty in 1981, and voted overwhelming to receive the Harvey Levin Teaching Prize last year. One colleague writes of life-long commitment to the public good in his teaching and public service activities, his with a devotion to the rigorous and demanding instruction of students. Another speak s of a legendary "Kreimer's Con Lit" that students say is "the defining experience of their legal education." Student and alumni voices concur: "...taught me how intellectually demanding and rigorous the proper practice of law must be, particularly for those who may seek to protect constitutional rights," and "It has been 16 years ...but it remains one of the highlights of my legal education."

Provost's Award (Non-Health)

Lorene Cary, author of a prize-winning memoir, Black Ice, and two novels, The Price of a Child and Pride; a Penn alumna and Thouron Scholar (to Sussex) who returned to teach in the Writing Program in 1995; and an honorary degree-holder from Colby College. She joined the English department in 1995, teaching in the Writing Program. Students' letters call her a genius at shedding light on the process of writing...a talented and dynamic professor.. whose influence on my writing ability and writing career will last the rest of my life." Colleagues describe her as "magical", "brilliant", "devoted to the image of the writer as incessant teacher-citizen." And: "Faculty members benefit when they teach students who have been taught by Lorene. They emerge from her class as more thoughtful writers and more astute observers of the world around them."

In the Health Schools

Dr. Sarah Kagan, who joined the Nursing School in 1994 after receiving her Ph.D. from UC/San Francisco, and received the Nursing Excellence Award from HUP in 1996. Noted as "a gifted teacher who is intellectually challenging as well as demanding," with impact on both classroom and clinical pedagogy, she has completely revamped Nursing 270 to make it contemporary and educate students about the field of gerontology. She is held in high esteem by students and peers alike: A colleaguesays she is able to connect with her students in a manner that is everlasting. A student writes, "I have never met an instructor so receptive to student feedback. Sarah was also able to motivate me more than any other professor at Penn," and another says, "Sarah is energetic, a trendsetter, a Renaissance nurse."

Dr. Gary Lichtenstein, who came to Pennas a Fellow in gastroenterology in 1987; became Assistant Professor in 1990 and was recently promoted to Associate Professor. Students wrote of his dedication to teaching especially beyond the walls of the classroom: spontaneous teaching moments on e-mail, in the office, on the wards and most importantly, by personal example: A medical student says, "The amount of material that Dr. Lichtenstein has synthesized in the course of his career and is able to impart during rounds, a lecture, or an informal conversation is truly amazing. In his interactions with patients, I was able to see a model of what I desire to be as a physician." [He has] "struck a tremendous balance between research, clinical care and education that has led him to become the paragon on an academician." Another medical student notes: "At a great institution known for its teaching, Dr. Lichtenstein stands at the top." A colleague adds, "Gary not only deserves the Lindback Award, he represents all that this award stands for. He is this award."

Dr. Karin McGowan, who joined the School of Medicine in 1986 and has received numerous awards including the Commendation for Outstanding Teaching in both 1991 and 1993, and the Louis R. Dinon Award for excellence in teaching in 1995. Some 70 students wrote letters of support for Dr. McGowan; some describe her as "inspiring, thought-provoking, and dedicated" ..."the most dynamic, creative and engaging professor I have ever had..." Of her extraordinary teaching evaluations, one colleague said: "No one else with whom I have taught for the past 36 years has been able to maintain this type of teaching record. For the past 11 years, Karin has taught in the Medical School interdepartmental course Mechanisms of Infection, and in this highly rated course she has had the highest ranking in the student evaluations that anyone has had since the inception of the course 29 years ago." Students enjoy her excitement, patience and "no frills" approach to teaching, and one concludes: "In other words, she is great, concise, captivating, enthusiastic, knows her stuff, and she deserves the Lindback. The class of 2001 greatly appreciated all her efforts and the amount of time she devoted to teaching us."

Dr. Steven Spitalnik, who received his M.D. from Chicago in 1974, joined PennMed in 1985, and has won, along with the Young Investigator Award and other research awards, the Dean's Award for Excellence in Basic Science Teaching and the Peter C. Nowell Teaching Award. "Among our most gifted teachers," says a colleague in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. Students remark on his effective use of the Socratic method: "He constantly pushed students to problem-solve, providing a resource or pointing the way to the solution, but allowing the student to come to his or her own conclusion." "Gifted...accessible... intellectually demanding... a model educator" whose "teaching has permanent effects."


Provost's Award (Health School)

Patricia Dunphy joined the faculty of the Nursing School in 1993 and has been awarded the Nursing Excellence Award from the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center. She is also listed in Who's Who in American Nursing. Faculty colleagues cite her excellent teaching abilities, her high standards and exceptional clinical knowledge: "...embodies that which is best in nursing and humankind, [has] integrity, sincerity, intellect, and courage that enable her to be a gifted teacher to her students, her colleagues and to those in the community." She integrates practice, education, and research, "effectively moving graduate students beyond traditional views of nursing and assisting them in articulating emergent roles and leading the way." Trish serves as "student advocate, our mentor and outstanding role model arranging for students to participate in conferences, special seminars and in-services" and, one student says, "has modeled nursing behavior and skills that I hope to put into action."

Almanac, Vol. 44, No. 30, April 21, 1998