Lindback Awards: Sketches of the 2000 Winners

 In the Non-Health Schools

Robert Inman Miller-Sherrerd Professor of Finance: Dr. Inman was awarded the Anvil Prize for Outstanding Teaching as well as Wharton's Outstanding Teacher Award five times and the Excellence in Teaching Award MBA Division four times. Students were particularly vocal on the Urban Fiscal Policy course he designed and taught citing that he masterfully combined academic theory with political and economic realities. Students commented not only on his breadth of knowledge but on his ability to convey information. Colleagues noted his ability to teach across a variety of disciplines. Described as an engaging and captivating lecturer and storyteller, his courses always have a waiting list. He challenges students to think for themselves and pushes their analytic abilities. "Twenty years from now when I talk about urban sprawl I will remember his example." If the Lindback recognizes teachers who have a lasting impact, then Dr. Inman succeeds and deserves this.

Peter Stallybrass Professor of English: He joined the English department in 1988 and is also a member of the program in Comparative Literature and Literary Theory as well as an Associate in the Annenberg School. Dr. Stallybrass received the SAS Ira Abrams Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1997 and served as a Mellon Fellow at the Folger Shakespeare Library. His teaching evaluations are consistently outstanding and colleagues and students wrote attesting to his extraordinary accomplishment. The word "dazzling" occurs repeatedly and many students regard him as "the best teacher they have ever had," and his courses as "the best they have taken at Penn." "He is the most exciting, invigorating professor I have had here." He inaugurated the History of the Book series to promote intellectual exchange for faculty and students and it served as an extra course for many graduate students. One colleague describes him: "Peter's genius as a teacher is in his inimitably charming, playful, infectious way, to communicate the special pleasures of engaged and responsible intellectual labor." "Peter is a teacher in the Socratic sense, an embodiment of the life of the mind at its most intense and magnetic."

Phillip Nichols Associate Professor Legal Studies: Dr. Nichols has been a member of the Legal Studies department at Wharton since 1992. He was the 1996 recipient of the highest prize the School gives for undergraduate teaching--the Hauck Award--and is a regular recipient of the School's Excellence in Teaching Award (1993-1999). The dossier for the Lindback contained over 70 students' letters. One describes his classes as,"incubators with heated and powerful discussions ensuing from class materials he has prepared," and another describes the experience as "learning for its own sake." "Although he gave me the worst grade I've gotten at Penn, I feel the amount I learned was worth the lower grade. Real knowledge will take you further than a higher grade in a course." "At the end of Dr. Nichols' two-hour final exam, the entire class stood and applauded, and waited in line to shake his hand." In addition to his work in the classroom, he also receives accolades in his role as Faculty Master at Stouffer College House, where he is the center of social and academic life and mentors undergraduates with an open-door policy. A colleague wrote, he "best represents the integration of academic life and work into the totality that we call education."

Max Mintz Ennis Professor of Computer and Information Science: Dr. Mintz joined Penn in 1974 as a member of CIS in the Engineering School. He has twice won the S. Reid Warren, Jr., Award of Distinguished Teaching. He is the associate chair of the University Scholars Program and is also serving his second term as undergraduate chair of CIS. Dr. Mintz has designed two key courses for CIS and written the textbook for them. He is described as "funny, animated, exciting, clear, passionate and dedicated." Even a parent of one of his students took the time to write saying: "It was Max's concern and caring for my son that made me look at Penn in a way that drew me to support the school in many ways. He genuinely cares for students and will do anything necessary to help them succeed." In the acknowledgments to his dissertation, a former student wrote: "I only hope that the work I am reporting in this dissertation meets with Dr. Mintz's approval." One student wrote: "A strong relationship with a knowledgeable advisor is key for a successful academic career." Many students regard Dr. Mintz as that advisor.

In the Health Schools

Arthur Asbury Van Meter Professor Emertius of Neurology: Dr. Asbury joined the neurology faculty of the Medical School in 1974, and has served as Acting Dean, Vice Dean for Research, Vice Dean for Faculty Affairs and Vice Chair of Neurology. He is the recipient of the Resident's Award for Excellence in Teaching as well as the I. S. Ravdin Master Clinician Award. He is also a fellow of AAAS. "Dr. Asbury's contributions to the growth and development of modern neurology during the last 40 years are as immense as they are immeasurable. He is truly one of the outstanding figures of twentieth-century medicine." "His depth of knowledge and organized approach to neurologic problems are the model that I have certainly emulated." "It was because Dr. Asbury was chairman that I sought out my residency at Penn; he was known as a superior clinician and teacher. He was and is the consummate traditional academic clinician." A physician wrote, "Because of his combination of academic achievement, intellectual skills and personal qualities, Dr. Asbury is one of the pivotal individuals in my neurological training." A student said, "Dr. Asbury's importance as a mentor has never flagged. I still turn to him when I need help with a particularly challenging clinical problem. He is a strong advocate for young scientists and epitomizes excellence in teaching."

E. Cabrina Campbell Assistant Professor, Psychiatry: Dr. Campbell came to Penn as a resident in Psychiatry in 1989 after receiving her M.D. from the University of Arkansas. She was named Resident of the Year in 1993 and has received the Earl D. Bond Award for Excellence in Teaching in Psychiatry and the Blockley-Osler Award for Excellence in Teaching Clinical Medicine. She is responsible for the organization and running of the psychiatry core clerkship. She teaches undergraduate medical students and psychiatry residents and participates actively on the residency recruitment committee and serves as a mentor and advisor for Penn undergraduates. Her teaching evaluations were uniformly high and students were effusive in their praise of her teaching. "It was a joy to observe and learn from her clinical acumen." "It was a privilege to work with her." "She encourages the residents to strive for excellence, which makes working with Dr. Campbell a delight." Others noted her sense of humor, her idea that work is fun, the twinkle in her eyes, and her capacity to engage with patients. She integrates student suggestions into her courses and treats her students with respect, as partners in health care. A colleague wrote, "Cabrina is a rare and gifted teacher."

Cindy Christian Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, CHOP: She came to Penn as an intern in Pediatrics after receiving her M.D. from Albany Medical College. Dr. Christian has been the Course Director for three pediatric courses and has modified and adapted the major clinical course in pediatrics to meet the changing curriculum patterns. She received the Citation for Excellence in Clinical Teaching and is a recipient of the Penn Pearls Teaching Award. She has been a multi-disciplinary teacher working not only with physicians, but also with nurses, social workers, lawyers, judges and police officers. One student wrote: "During my rotation with Dr. Christian, I learned how to interact with physically and sexually abused children; I was given the opportunity to attend homicide meetings, DHS meetings, and the Philadelphia forensic lab." Letters from the Office of the Attorney General and from district attorneys also attest to her superior skills. Others noted her tireless work to improve the lives of abused and neglected children in her care. A Dental School colleague wrote that Dr. Christian had a "powerful" effect on the dental students and made it possible for them to consider child abuse in their differential diagnoses. Another student explains: "Dr. Christian's interactions with patients and their families are remarkable for her honesty, tact, and genuine warmth, in addition to her clinical expertise. She is truly a role model." Described as "superwoman," students reported that they could think of no one more deserving of a Lindback.

Ann L. O' Sullivan Associate Professor of Primary Care Nursing: Dr. O'Sullivan came to Penn in 1972 and received a Ph.D. here in 1984. Her awards include Robert Wood Johnson Nurse Faculty Fellowship, Women's Way Award, American Nurses Association Honorary Nursing Practice Award, the Lillian Shoultis Brunner Award in Innovation in Nursing and the NPACE Outstanding Community Service Award. She teaches nursing care of children at both the undergraduate and masters level. A leading authority on teen pregnancy and prevention, she is recognized throughout the country for creating the Teen Baby primary care program at CHOP. Students wrote of her influence noting, "She was instrumental in my decision to pursue a career in nursing," and "Through working with Dr. O'Sullivan, I have been inspired to serve my future patients in a similarly compassionate and intelligent manner." "For more than two decades Dr. O'Sullivan has served as a teacher, mentor, and advisor to countless number of students. Through her inspired and sensitive teaching, her vast clinical expertise and her unique leadership style, she has enriched the educational environment and profoundly influenced the professional lives of her students and colleagues."

The Provost's Awards

MaryAnn Lafferty-Della Valle Adjunct Associate Professor of Nursing: Dr. Lafferty joined the faculty in 1974 after receiving her Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. She received Nursing's Teaching Award in 1988. Her importance to the undergraduates is noted in numerous letters. A professor writes: "Dr Lafferty is arguably part of the foundation of our entire undergraduate program--it would not exist in its present state without her vision and "hands-on" approach to curriculum and teaching in the classroom and the laboratory." She has also been an enthusiastic and dedicated instructor in the Pre-freshman program--her courses received the highest rating. A senior nursing student remarks: "In the classroom and laboratory, Dr. Lafferty creates a non-threatening learning environment where students are encouraged both to work independently and to learn together. She challenges her students and is always prepared to provide extra resources. She is a warm, enthusiastic, and dedicated professor; never has another professor at this University taken such a personal interest in my success." She is the quintessential "distinguished teacher."

Gomaa Omar Research Assistant Professor of Geology: Dr. Omar received his Ph.D. from Penn and has been a lecturer in the Geology Department since 1993. His SCUE rating in Geology 201 and Geology 317 are the highest of any instructor in the College. He positively influences the lives of students so that they will be more knowledgeable in geology, more open to life, and more understanding of the world in which they live. "I learned as much about life as I did about rocks." Students were especially grateful for his generosity and caring, his honesty and integrity and his willingness to serve as advisor and mentor. A faculty member comments: "Omar will continue to persuade bright and motivated undergraduates that the elegance of the discipline of geology will lead them to a vocation of challenge and fulfillment. He is a quiet, unobtrusive, and absolutely essential part of our future."


Almanac, Vol. 46, No. 29, April 18, 2000

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