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Lindback and Provost's Awards—Sketches of the 2008 Winners
April 15, 2008, Volume 54, No. 29

Since 1961, Lindback  Awards—for members of the standing faculty—have been a springtime tradition at Penn.
The Provost’s Awards—for full- and part-time associated  faculty and academic support staff—have also been given in conjunction with the Lindbacks since 1988. A new University-wide award to honor faculty who teach and mentor doctoral students was begun in 2003 for members of the standing or associated faculty in any school offering the PhD. Below are profiles and excerpts from colleagues’ and students’ letters of recommendation for this year’s winners. 

Teaching Award Reception: April 21

All members of the University community are cordially invited to a reception honoring the recipients of the
Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback
Foundation Awards for Distinguished Teaching
and the Provost’s Award for Teaching Excellence by Non-Standing Faculty
as well as the Provost’s Award for Distinguished PhD Teaching and Mentoring
Monday, April 21, 5-6:30 p.m. Benjamin Franklin Room, Houston Hall

Lindback Awards
Health Schools
Non-Health Schools
Provost's Awards


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.

See www.archives.upenn.edu/histy/notables/awards/lindback.html for the previous recipients.

Lindback Awards–Health Schools

Michael Atchison, Veterinary Medicine


Michael Atchison is Professor of Biochemistry and Director of the VMD-PhD Program in the School of Veterinary Medicine. He received his PhD in cellular and molecular biology from New York University and his BS from SUNY-Albany. He has overseen the revitalization of the longstanding VMD-PhD program, one of the only such programs in the country, and has greatly increased the participation of students in the NIH/Merck Summer Research Program for Veterinary Students. His students and colleagues call attention to his willingness to give students one-on-one attention connected to both academic success and personal well-being. One student writes, “It seems that his office door is always open and he can be found meeting with students who need his help.” Another student notes, “He not only teaches the material well, he presents the material in a way that is memorable.”


Stanley Goldfarb, Medicine


Stanley Goldfarb, Professor of Medicine, joined the faculty of the School of Medicine in 1975, after receiving an MD from the University of Rochester and a BA from Princeton University. He has served his department in a number of administrative roles, including his current position as Associate Dean for Curriculum and many years as Vice Chair. Despite his administrative duties and active research program, he has a reputation for careful teaching and accessibility to his students. Students in both Nephrology and Introduction to Health Care Systems describe his ability to “make clear extremely complex material” and his “mastery of evidence-based clinical studies.” One student describes him as “a role model of a true academic physician.”  His colleagues are no less appreciative. One describes Dr. Goldfarb’s development of “innovative, self-motivating instructional techniques,” as well as his “ability to integrate knowledge within the broad context of medicine.”


Joshua Metlay, Medicine


Joshua Metlay is Associate Professor of Medicine and Associate Professor of Epidemiology in the School of Medicine. He received an MD from Cornell University and a PhD from Rockefeller University. Since joining the faculty ten years ago, Dr. Metlay has led several significant initiatives, including developing a year-long preclinical course now called Clinical Decision Making, reorganizing Introduction to Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, serving as Program Leader for the Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship, and becoming Co-Director of the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program. Students have responded enthusiastically to his courses and his work with individuals. Many students comment on the superior levels of insight and organization he brings to his courses, and one colleague writes that working with Dr. Metlay teaches her “how to better connect with students and articulate complex concepts and ideas.”


Therese Richmond, Nursing


Therese Richmond, Associate Professor in the School of Nursing, received a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania, an MSN from the Catholic University of America, and a BSN from University of Delaware. Soon after arriving at Penn, she developed the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Program; in 2001, she created a new PhD course, Health Status, Functional Status, and Quality of Life; and she has taught the capstone course for nursing PhD students since 2004. She also serves as an advisor and mentor to undergraduate “senior inquiry” projects, as well as a lecturer in numerous undergraduate courses. In nominating her for the award, her students describe her as “a versatile teacher and mentor” and say that she “has continually challenged us to question, pursue, and integrate new and existing knowledge.” A colleague describes her as “the ultimate role model” as a teacher-scholar who “is truly shaping the intellectual genealogy” of nursing.


Lindback Awards–Non-Health Schools

Emma Dillon, Arts and Sciences


Emma Dillon, Associate Professor of Music, came to Penn in 2000, after doing her graduate and undergraduate work at the University of Oxford. She is an expert in medieval music, described by one of her colleagues as “the leading young medievalist” whose work provides “innovative glimpses of what it meant to speak, sing, hear, see, and write in the late Middle Ages.”  Dr. Dillon’s students consistently rate her classes as “one of the most fulfilling academic experiences I have had at Penn,” even if they had “absolutely no interest” in classical music beforehand.  They praise her ability to make medieval music “come alive” through audio, visual, and performance media; primary materials in libraries and special collections; trips outside the classroom; and even playing the piano herself.  “Only when the class is coming to an end,” reports one undergraduate, “can the student understand that a plan had…been set up, that every deviation was in fact a new step on the way to fully understanding the work in question.”


Avery Goldstein, Arts and Sciences


Avery Goldstein, Professor and Chair of Political Science, came to Penn in 1985.  He graduated from Penn in 1975 and went on to earn an MS at Penn in secondary education, followed by an MA and PhD in political science from the University of California at Berkeley. The author of three books on Chinese politics and security in the 20th and 21st centuries, he is a leading global expert on strategic studies and international relations. His students overwhelmingly cite his talent at “keeping everyone in the room on the edge of their seat,” even in a large lecture hall and when teaching potentially dry subjects, by putting them right in the middle of complex strategic decisions faced by world leaders.  “He lays it out as it unrolls,” writes one undergraduate in his International Security class, “so that, while the different parts of the problem compound, we are all racing to think of a solution.  … We not only learned the history, but also learned valuable tools of critical thinking.”

Robert Hornik, Annenberg


Robert Hornik, Wilbur Schramm Professor at the Annenberg School for Communication, came to Penn in 1978 with an MA and PhD in Communications from Stanford and an AB in international relations from Dartmouth. A leading scholar of health communication, he was recently awarded a $10 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to establish a Penn Center for Excellence in Cancer Communication Research. His students, many of them now leaders in the field, testify to the high level of personal attention that he devotes to them. “He takes the responsibility of training the next generation of scholars very seriously,” one of them notes, and “his feedback to final papers is legendary… a mixture of kudos, diplomatic critique, and suggestions for how to take the research to the next level.” They also praise his ability to apply statistical methods and abstract theories to important real-world situations, which has been widely influential in their own teaching. 

Carol Wilson Spigner, Social Policy & Practice


Carol Wilson Spigner, Kenneth L.M. Pray Distinguished Professor/Clinician Educator in the School of Social Policy and Practice, began teaching at Penn in 1999, after a long career as a teacher and practitioner in child welfare, including more than five years as Associate Commissioner for the Children’s Bureau in the US Department of Health and Human Services. She earned a DSW and MSW from the University of Southern California and a BA from the University of California at Riverside. Her students praise her ability to inspire and support them while challenging their assumptions: “I received a ‘B+,’” reports one alumnus, “and I was more proud of it than any ‘A’ I received during my academic career.” They also note her skill at transmitting her experience and knowledge without dominating the classroom. “In spite of all her educational and professional achievements,” says a current MSW candidate, “Dr. Spigner is a humble and approachable person who loves to share her extensive knowledge.” A current MSSP candidate writes that she is “the representation of both power and gentleness, and she leads by example. She…inspires those around her to hold fast to what they know is right.”

Provost’s Award for Teaching Excellence by Non-Standing Faculty

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.

Tom Faust, Medicine


Tom Faust is Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine in the School of Medicine. He received an MD from the University of Tennessee, a master of bioethics (MBE) from the University of Pennsylvania, and a BA from Vanderbilt University. He reorganized and significantly improved the Pathophysiology course and Residency Scholar Program in Gastroenterology, which he now directs, impressing colleagues and students alike with his energy and enthusiasm for teaching. Several mention that his teaching encompasses the entire hospital environment, including fellows, residents, students, nurses, nurse practitioners, and medical assistants. Despite his knowledge and expertise, he comes across as “humble and easy to approach” in his devotion to students and patients.

Anne Drury Hall, Arts and Sciences


Anne Drury Hall is a Lecturer in the Department of English. She received a PhD from Stanford University, an MAT from Harvard University, and a BA from Wellesley College. She teaches a wide range of literature courses, including The Bible as Literature, Poetry and Philosophy in Ancient Greece, and Shakespeare and the Argument of Comedy. Her students say her classes are the best or among the best they have ever taken. Several describe her wonderful sense of humor, others her ability to push students to make their own arguments and put forward their own ideas. One points to “her genuine love of what she teaches” as the key to creating a classroom environment founded on “stimulating and argumentative dialogue.”

Provost’s Award for Distinguished Ph.D. Teaching and Mentoring

Excellence in PhD education is the hallmark of a great university. That excellence depends upon the skill and commitment of faculty mentors. The Provost’s Award for Distinguished PhD Teaching and Mentoring was established specifically to honor faculty who mentor PhD students. The prize is intended to underscore the University’s emphasis on graduate education, by celebrating the accomplishments of faculty who show special distinction in doctoral education.

Nancy Hornberger


Nancy Hornberger, Professor of Education and Director of Educational Linguistics at the Graduate School of Education, specializes in sociolinguistics and linguistic anthropology, especially the maintenance and revitalization of minority languages. She came to Penn in 1985, after earning a PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, an MA from New York University, and a BA from Harvard University.  She has supervised more than 50 PhD dissertations and teaches courses in such areas as intercultural communication, language diversity, bilingual education, and ethnographic research methods. “Her extraordinary success in teaching is revealed in many ways,” notes one of her students, “including her dedicated mentoring from the moment a student enters GSE.” Her mentees describe her as “the consummate mentor” who is “extremely knowledgeable, sensitive to students’ needs and passionate about research” and works hard to nurture their “intellectual appetite.”

Robert Schuyler


Robert Schuyler is Associate Professor and Graduate Group Chair of Anthropology and Associate Curator-in-Charge of the Historical Archaeology Section of the University of Pennsylvania Museum. He came to Penn in 1979, having earned an MA and PhD from the University of California-Santa Barbara and a BA from the University of Arizona. He is a pioneer of historical ethnography, an approach that combines traditional  archaeology with study of archival documents, oral histories, and living communities. He has supervised more than 30 doctoral dissertations and has led field projects at such sites as a Victorian town in the New Jersey Pine Barrens and an abandoned Utah ghost town. “Since he arrived at Penn,” says one of his colleagues, “Schuyler has made Penn into one of the most important graduate training centers for what has become today the most visible, successful, and expanding specialization in general archaeology. The key ingredient of his success has been his dedication to his graduate students and to mentoring.” One of his current students writes, “If there is one thing Dr. Schuyler cares about more than historical archaeology, it is the welfare of us students.”

Almanac - April 15, 2008, Volume 54, No. 29