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SAS 2005 Teaching Awards

Dr. Rebecca W. Bushnell, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, and Dr. Dennis DeTurck, dean of the College, are pleased to announce the following recipients of the School’s 2005 teaching awards, to be presented on Monday, April 25 at an awards reception that is open to the University community. The reception will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Upper Egyptian Gallery of the Penn Museum.

Ira H. Abrams Memorial Award for Distinguished Teaching

P. Sniegowski

The School’s highest teaching honor is awarded to Dr. Paul Sniegowski, associate professor of biology, who was praised by faculty and students alike for his teaching in both large introductory lecture courses and upper-level seminars. A colleague observed that, “Paul is that rare teacher some of us have had the great fortune to encounter and increasingly recognize with hindsight the critical role he played in our intellectual development.”

Created in 1983, the Ira H. Abrams Memorial Award for Distinguished Teaching recognizes teaching that is intellectually challenging and exceptionally coherent and honors faculty who embody high standards of integrity and fairness, have a strong commitment to learning, and are open to new ideas.


Dean’s Award for Innovation in Teaching

C. Bernstein

This award, which recognizes exceptional creativity and innovation in instruction, goes to Professor Charles Bernstein, the Donald T. Regan Professor of English. A distinguished poet and critic, Professor Bernstein receives high praise for his ability to blend the creative and critical sides of literary study in his courses. He is also highly regarded for his imaginative use of technology in instruction, whether through class blogs or the PENNsound digital poetry archive that he co-created. “This is the kind of teaching,” notes a fellow faculty member, “that shakes you up and knocks you into a new way of imagining yourself in the world.”



Dean’s Award for Mentorship of Undergraduate Research

R. Giegengack

This award recognizes faculty members who have excelled in nurturing students’ desires and abilities to conduct meaningful research. This year’s award goes to Dr. Robert Giegengack, the Davidson Kennedy Professor in the department of earth and environmental science.  As the architect of the undergraduate environmental studies major, which requires a senior research project, Dr. Giegengack has supervised some 300 senior theses during his career at Penn. Countless students attest to the enormous academic and personal impact of these research experiences; one writes, “I met Gieg with dreams of becoming a scientist and I am leaving with the skills, confidence and dedication to succeed.”


Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Award for Distinguished Teaching by an Assistant Professor

J. Park

This award recognizes a member of the junior faculty who demonstrates unusual promise as an educator. This year’s recipient is Dr. Josephine Park, assistant professor of English. In a broad range of courses from a survey of twentieth-century literature to advanced seminars on Asian American literature and film, Dr. Park has inspired many a student to become an English major. One student writes, “It is evident that she loves the subject matter and that she loves teaching it, which inevitably makes us love class.”




Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching by Affiliated Faculty

R. Stein

This award recognizes the contributions to undergraduate education made by the School’s non-standing faculty. This year’s recipient is Dr. Rebecca Stein, a senior lecturer in economics and director of the Microeconomic Principles Program. Her courses in introductory microeconomics—a staple for undergraduates across Penn—earn rave reviews from her students, many of whom arrive intimidated by the subject matter.  A colleague observes that “students come out of Dr. Stein’s class able to ‘think like an economist.’”




CGS Distinguished Teaching Award

This award honors outstanding teaching and advising in the College of General Studies. Two awards are being presented this year: 

H. Fetini

Dr. Hocine Fetni is an adjunct assistant professor of sociology and an assistant dean for academic advising in the College. His courses on subjects such as law and society have a loyal following from students who make comments like, “He combines a love of the material with a dry wit that helps to make him one of the most engaging professors on campus,” and “The course has changed my perception of the world.”





A. Lamas

Dr. Andrew Lamas is a lecturer in urban studies who teaches courses on urban development. A colleague praises his talent for engaging his students, noting that “he is never satisfied unless everyone of his students is a full participant,” challenging their own assumptions, “and then reconstructing their understanding to reflect their own unique insights.”

Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching by Graduate Students

This award recognizes graduate students for teaching that is intellectually rigorous, exceptionally coherent, and has a considerable impact on undergraduate students. This year’s recipients are:

Vance Byrd, German
Richard Collum, biology
Alberta Ferrario, religious studies
Damien Keane, English
John Lessard, English
Sarah Mason, mathematics
James Mesbur, linguistics
Helen Murphy, biology
Jennifer Strong, mathematics
Kahlil Williams, political science



  Almanac, Vol. 51, No. 29, April 19, 2005


April 19, 2005
Volume 51 Number 29


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