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School of Arts and Sciences 2003 Teaching Awards

Dr. Samuel H. Preston, dean of SAS, and Dr. Richard R. Beeman, dean of the College, are pleased to announce the following recipients of the School's 2003 teaching awards, to be presented on Monday, April 28 at an awards reception, which is open to the University community. The reception will take place from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Upper Egyptian Gallery of the University of Pennsylvania Museum.

Two faculty members have been selected as the 2003 Ira Abrams Award winners: Dr. Margreta de Grazia, professor of English, and Dr. Dennis DeTurck, professor of mathematics.

Ira H. Abrams Memorial Award for Distinguished Teaching

Margreta  de Grazia

Photos by Naomi Kaminsky

Dr. de Grazia is graduate group chair in English. She is praised by faculty and students for her passion and rigor as a teacher, both in her large introductory undergraduate course on Shakespeare or in small graduate seminars, and as a caring mentor. A colleague writes, "It seems to me an especially rare set of intellectual and pedagogical gifts that enables someone to hold the anchor position, as Margreta does, at both ends of the disciplinary curriculum."

Dennis DeTurck

Dr. DeTurck is a previous recipient of the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching, the CGS Award for Distinguished Teaching, and the Mathematical Association of America Haimo Award for Distinguished Teaching. He is also a former chair of the mathematics department. He is being honored for his classroom teaching, his work in structuring the current mathematics curriculum, and what one colleague describes as "his incredible willingness to go the extra mile for a student."

Since its creation in 1983, the Ira H. Abrams Memorial Award for Distinguished Teaching has been the highest teaching honor in SAS. The award 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

Robert Giegengack

This award, which recognizes exceptional creativity and innovation in instruction, goes to Dr. Robert Giegengack, professor and chair of Earth and Environmental Science. He is a previous recipient of the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching and the Ira Abrams Award for Distinguished Teaching. He is being recognized for several curricular innovations that he has introduced, from the environmental studies major and Master of Environmental Studies degree that he crafted to the academically-based community service courses that he has developed.


Dean's Award for Mentorship of Undergraduate Research

John Sabini

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. John Sabini, professor of psychology. He is currently the graduate group chair in psychology and a former department chair. He is being honored for his supervision of independent study projects and his teaching in psychology research experience courses. One student writes, "The research experience I gained [with Dr. Sabini] was invaluable, but the insight into this aspect of education and investigation was far more valuable, and is something that I believe will sustain me as my own career develops."

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

Shane Butler

This award, established in 2000, recognizes a member of the junior faculty who demonstrates unusual promise as an educator. This year's recipient is Dr. Shane Butler, assistant professor of classical studies, who teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Latin language and Roman culture. One student notes that "his love of classics is only surpassed by his obvious love of teaching classics and the competence with which he presents materials to students."


Dean's Award for Distinguished Teaching by Affiliated Faculty

Gomaa Omar

This award recognizes the contributions to undergraduate education made by the School's non-standing faculty. This year's recipient is Dr. Gomaa Omar of earth and environmental science, where he currently serves as graduate group chair. A previous recipient of the Provost's Award for Distinguished Teaching, Dr. Omar is praised for his teaching in the course sequence in mineralogy and petrology. One student comments that "his enthusiasm and amazing organization … creates a fire in his students to work hard in his classes."


CGS Distinguished Teaching Award

Jean-Michel Rabaté

This award honors outstanding teaching and advising in the College of General Studies. Two awards are being presented this year: to Dr. Jean-Michel Rabaté, professor of English, and Dr. Tony Pietrovito, who teaches in chemistry.

 Dr. Rabaté is being honored for his role as a teacher, thesis supervisor, and mentor in the Master of Liberal Arts program. Writes one student, "his support of my project has fostered new levels of insight and challenge that have helped mold my academic path."
Tony Pietrovito

Dr. Pietrovito is being recognized for his outstanding teaching of College and CGS undergraduates and CGS pre-health students in introductory and general chemistry. One student observes that, "he is always enthusiastic and uses his endless knowledge and sense of humor to make the subject accessible and interesting."


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 award goes to Frederick Butler, Mathematics, Tirdad Derakhshani, Religious Studies, Jennifer Faulkner, Classical Studies, Alexine Fleck, English, Paul Kintzele, English, Cyrus Mulready, English, Annie Rosemurgy, Anthropology, Natasha Ruiz-Gomez, History of Art, Serdar Turkarslan, Biology.


  Page I Don't Want In Search Engines Almanac, Vol. 49, No. 29, April 15, 2003

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