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Lindback and Provost’s Awards:
Sketches of the 2005 Winners

Lindback Reception: Wednesday, April 20

The Lindback Society cordially invites all members of the University community to a reception honoring the recipients of the Provost’s and Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation Awards for Distinguished Teaching 2004—200,5 Wednesday, April 20, 4:30–6 p.m., Van Pelt-Dietrich Library, Rare Book Room

Lindback  Awards, for members of the standing faculty, along with Provost’s Awards—given since 1988 to full- and part-time associated  faculty and academic support staff—are as much a  sign of spring at Penn as are al fresco classes on College Green and flowers and trees blooming all over campus. Below are profiles and excerpts from colleagues’ and students’ letters of recommendation for this year’s winners.

The Health Schools

P. Lanken

Paul Lanken joined the faculty of the Medical School in 1977 after receiving his M.D. from Harvard University.  He has received the Donna McCurdy Housestaff Teaching Award and the Special Dean’s Award for Teaching from the Medical School. Dr. Lanken is known as a remarkable designer of educational programs.  Both colleagues and students wrote enthusiastically about Paul Lanken’s role as coordinator of the “doctor” course, which runs over a two- or three-year period, where a group of medical students meets to discuss issues related to being a physician. For the past ten years, Dr. Lanken has pioneered in teaching humanism and ethics across all four years of medical school.  The “Frontiers of Bioethics” course is one of the highest-rated in the medical school curriculum.  In fact, Dr. Lanken consistently receives among the highest teaching scores both as a lecturer and in group sessions.  He is described as a “dynamic leader,” “an engaged physician” and “a dedicated mentor.” He is, according to many, “a force in the medical community.” A student writes: “His thought-provoking approach to medical ethics, implementation of progressive humanistic training and his unparalleled dedication to students make him a true role model.”   Another concludes: “Years from now I will smile when I tell people that I trained under Dr. Lanken at Penn, one of the giants of his day.”


P. Leboy

Phoebe S. Leboy joined the School of Dental Medicine’s faculty in 1967, and became the first tenured female faculty member in the School in 1971. Many students refer to Dr. Leboy as the “perfect mentor” and all agree that she understands the importance of providing students with the opportunities to engage in substantive, dynamic and important research. One student noted, “She teaches by example as much as she teaches by word. She would spend long hours in the lab, and all the time her door would be open for questions, problem-solving and general science chat.” Another writes, “Dr. Phoebe Leboy is an exceptional teacher because she is a brilliant and unique person. While working in her lab, she dared me to think and to always go one step further. I will always be grateful for the privilege of having Dr. Leboy as my mentor.”  Many of her colleagues agree that Dr. Leboy has had a broad and deep effect on both undergraduate and graduate students, in addition to dental students, and to the cause of women in science. One colleague notes, “To say that she excels in all aspects of teaching is an understatement,” while a former student writes, “I consider landing in Phoebe’s lab and spending three years there as one of the great strokes of luck in my professional life.”   Another senior faculty member summed it up best by stating, “Phoebe has taught the rest of us how to teach.”  


E. Meagher

Emma A. Meagher received her M.D. from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and joined the faculty of Penn’s Medical School in 1994. She is already the recipient of the Dean’s Award for Innovative Educational Programs, the Leonard Berwick Memorial Teaching Award and the Arthur K. Asbury Award for Outstanding Faculty Mentoring. Throughout her ten years at Penn, she has shown a rare and invaluable dedication to both undergraduate and graduate education. A colleague notes, “Her interactions with students when she is teaching, in my view, set the bar for others who teach here.” Another comments, “She is unfailingly collegial with a great spirit of adventure in exploring new avenues for teaching.” Students describe her lectures as stimulating and challenging, humorous and well-organized. She is always available to students both in and outside of the classroom, despite being “one of the world’s busiest human beings.” In addition, one student also notes, “She is a snappy dresser.” Another said, “Dr. Meagher represents the most that one can achieve in medicine; she embodies the criteria for the Lindback Award.” Finally, and most importantly, one student concludes, “Dr. Meagher is an inspirational role model to our class. Her accomplishments as a physician, teacher, researcher, wife and mother of four children are truly incredible.”


K. Wilkerson

Karen Buhler–Wilkerson holds nursing degrees from Emory University and a Ph.D. from the department of city planning at Penn. She is currently professor of community health in the School of Nursing. In addition to teaching, Dr. Buhler-Wilkerson has recently curated the widely publicized exhibit RN: The Past, Present and Future of Nurses’ Uniforms, a collaboration between the Center for the Study of the History of Nursing and the Fabric Workshop and Museum. For over 30 years Dr. Buhler-Wilkerson has had a tremendous impact on students in the Nursing School. She has been described as both a versatile scholar and a marvelously gifted teacher. Many students wrote about her lasting influence on their professional lives noting, “She has left me with a lasting impression of home health care; her course allowed me to think about my ideas for change in the system.” Another writes, “Because of Dr. Buhler-Wilkerson I know where I want to take my career in the future.” Her courses on nursing history are equally influential, providing students with a framework for the work they will do in their profession. Her influence goes beyond the classroom; she is truly a leader in the School of Nursing. A former student writes, “My goal as a new assistant professor is to bring to my own students the level of commitment to and passion for teaching that Dr. Buhler-Wilkerson gave to me.”


Provost’s Award

H. Bleier

Henry R. Bleier, currently a clinical professor of psychiatry, received his M.D. from Cornell University and his M.B.A. from the Wharton School. For the past 28 years he has enriched both students and colleagues in the department by his special presentations in areas of ethics and communications in psychiatry and, specifically, forensic psychiatry. According to colleagues, “Dr. Bleier must be given full credit for the success of many of our Bioethics Grand Rounds and research ethics seminars.” Referred to by many as “brilliant” and “uniquely talented,” Dr. Bleier is the recipient of many awards and honors, including the Clinical Teaching Award, the Earl D. Bond Award for Excellence, the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Clinical Teaching and the Penn Pearls Teaching Award.  Students write that they are grateful to have had the opportunity to study with Dr. Bleier who is “larger than life,” “a gifted individual” and “a superb mentor.” His peers agree that Dr. Bleier is an exemplary physician whose practice and teaching set a standard for colleagues and students alike. Finally, an admiring student writes,  “For Dr. Bleier to receive the Provost’s Award for Distinguished Teaching would be an affirmation of who he already is. I can think of no finer embodiment of the teacher-physician.”


The Non-Health Schools

R. Banard

Rita Barnard joined the English department at Penn in 1990 after receiving her Ph.D. from Duke University. She currently serves as the director of the women’s studies department and Alice Paul Center for Research on Women and Gender.  An English department colleague writes, “Term after term, and course after course across the curricula of English, comparative literature and women’s studies, from large introductory lectures to advanced graduate seminars, Rita Barnard has distinguished herself not only as an extraordinarily popular teacher, but as a teacher of rare dedication and engagement.”  Students consistently rate her courses as excellent and are glowing in their praise noting, “It is impossible to know Rita without realizing how much she genuinely cares about teaching.”  Another student writes, “Rita has impacted the lives and careers of her students. My biggest regret as a senior is not being able to take another course with Rita Barnard.” “Through a combination of personal connection and high academic excellence, Professor Barnard serves as an astounding mentor and guide to both undergraduate and graduate students. She deserves the Lindback for her dedication to her work, to her students and to the intellectual life of the University.”


D. Bogen

Daniel Bogen received both his Ph.D. and M.D. degrees from Harvard University and he joined the faculty of the Engineering School in 1982. Professor Bogen is described as the most sought-after advisor and mentor in the bioengineering department. Numerous letters from students and alumni as well as from his colleagues attest to Dr. Bogen’s belief that engineering has a mission: to find and develop socially responsible projects that will improve the lives of ordinary people. Students often referred to his dedication, noting, “Professor Bogen’s dedication to our senior design project encouraged us as students to become innovative researchers,” and “his dedication to teaching and research has inspired many of us beyond our undergraduate career.” Students also wrote about Dr. Bogen’s dedication in making toys for disabled children and how grateful they were for the opportunity to work on such worthwhile projects.  For many students, it changed the course of their professional lives. A colleague concludes, “Dan Bogen stands out as a model faculty member, able to integrate research with teaching, and to provide students with broad, interdisciplinary training and meaningful real world experience.”  “Dan Bogen’s contributions to Penn’s educational mission and his service to students make him truly deserving of the Lindback Award.”


L. Donaldson-Evans

Lance Donaldson-Evans joined the department of Romance languages in 1969. He has served as assistant dean of the College, chair of the department, and most recently as chair of the Faculty Senate. Dr. Donaldson-Evans has the reputation of being the best teacher/educator in the Romance languages department. Students repeatedly attest to Professor Donaldson-Evans’ evident enjoyment of his subject matter and of the chance to teach what he so obviously loves. They also attest that the amount of learning that occurs in his classes is truly extraordinary. Many describe Professor Donaldson-Evans as the best professor at Penn. A former student writes, “Professor Donaldson-Evans’ teaching was a turning point for me in my own study of the language and largely responsible for my choice to teach French.” Another current student notes, “He has his own brand of wit that is seamlessly incorporated in his lectures and an enthusiasm that is contagious to even the most difficult audience: a class of college undergraduates on a Friday morning.” “He is generous with his time, always available to students with valued advice and counsel, or just for casual conversation. Lance Donaldson-Evans has been a superb teacher for over three decades and the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching is a testament to that fact.”


A. Metrick

Andrew Metrick joined the faculty in the department of finance in 1999 after coming from Harvard University. He is already the recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award at both the undergraduate and graduate levels in the Wharton School, the David W. Hauck Award from the Wharton School and he has received “Outstanding Faculty” recognition from BusinessWeek.  Several students noted that Professor Metrick was the outstanding teacher in their academic careers and rated his classes as among the very best.  Students wrote, “Few teachers in my life have had such a memorable and lasting impact,” and, “I can think of no better example of excellence in teaching than that of enduring lessons carried on into a Wharton alum’s career.” Another comments, “Andrew is one of those special professors that not only affects his students while they are in his class but even more so for the rest of their lives.” Colleagues were equally enthusiastic, writing that, “Professor Metrick’s distinction is that teaching to him is a vocation that goes beyond the classroom to all dimensions of his life.” “As a mentor to Ph.D. students and to the junior faculty at Wharton, Professor Metrick serves not only as an example of outstanding teaching, but passes on the knowledge that allows the tradition of outstanding teaching at the University to continue.”


Provost’s Award

P. Hendrickson

Paul Hendrickson is a senior lecturer in creative writing in the English department. He has won numerous prizes and awards for his newspaper work and, most recently,  was awarded the National Book Critics Circle Award for Sons of Mississippi: A Story of Race and Its Legacy.  A colleague in the English department writes of Professor Hendrickson, “It is no exaggeration to say that Paul has single-handedly kindled in our students a passion for non-fiction and documentary writing.” Indeed, the word passion occurs over and over in student reports of his classes. They describe his passion for writing, his passion for teaching and his passion for finding the exact word. Another colleague describes Professor Hendrickson as, “full of energy, excitement, and heart. Paul not only teaches writing but embodies literary professionalism.  He is an ideal role model.” A student notes, “Paul Hendrickson is without a doubt the single most enthusiastic, caring, involved, and able instructor I have had in four years at Penn.” Another student exclaims, “Professor Hendrickson changed my Penn experience absolutely.” Still another writes, “I can say without hesitation that Paul’s class was the best I ever took at Penn. I can’t think of a single professor more worthy of the Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching than Paul Hendrickson.”



Christian R. and  Mary F. Lindback Awards at the University of Pennsylvania: Awarded for Distinguished Teaching

The Lindback Awards for Distinguished Teaching at the University of Pennsylvania were established in 1961 with the help of the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation. Christian Lindback was president and principal of Abbotts Dairies Inc. and a trustee of Bucknell University. The Foundation established Lindback Awards for Distinguished Teaching at colleges and universities throughout the Abbotts Dairies Inc.’s service area in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware and Virginia.

The University of Pennsylvania normally gives out eight Lindback Awards each year, divided evenly between health-related disciplines and all other departments and divisions. Award winners are determined by nominations and recommendations made by faculty and students in December based on certain guidelines. Two separate committees, one in the Health Schools and one in the Non-Health Schools, consisting of six previous award winners and four students, carefully decide among the nominees. Winners receive a Lindback Foundation scroll and a cash award of $3,000. During the 1960s, Lindback Awards were presented at Commencement.

During the 1970s, previous winners of the Lindback Award organized themselves into a Lindback Society which supported efforts to improve teaching and hosted an annual reception for Lindback Award winners after the actual presentation of the awards at Hey Day (May 1) Ceremonies. Currently, the Provost presents Lindback Awards at a reception in late April. The Lindback Society was revived in the late 1980s and sponsored, in conjunction with the College of Arts and Sciences, essays by faculty members on teaching that are published as “Talk About Teaching and Learning” in Almanac, the University’s journal of record.

—Adapted From the University Archives and Records Center website, 

The Provost’s Awards

In October of 1987, the Office of the Provost announced the establishment of two additional Penn teaching awards—one in a Health School and one in a Non-Health School—to be given annually in recognition of distinguished teaching by associated faculty or academic support staff. The guidelines for the selection of the award recipients are the same as those given for the Lindback Awards, and the selection processes and deadlines are the same. The first recipients for the Provost’s Awards were Nora Magid of SAS and Paul Orsini of Veterinary Medicine (Almanac April 5, 1988).



  Almanac, Vol. 51, No. 28, April 12, 2005


April 12, 2005
Volume 51 Number 28


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