College Bestows Teaching Awards
Jan Cooper, Ronald DiCenzo, and Dennison Smith are the first recipients of the College Faculty Council's Teaching Excellence Awards, bestowed by the council in late June. Cooper is John C. Reid associate professor of expository writing; DiCenzo is professor of history and East Asian studies; and Smith is professor of neuroscience and psychology.
"Iwas flattered to be one of the first recipients of the award, particularly because there are so many other faculty members who are excellent teachers," Smith said. "Teaching is and should be the most important things faculty do at a liberal arts college and it's important that Oberlin recognizes this explicitly."
Dean Clayton Koppes said each of the distinguished teachers represents Oberlin's commitment to excellence and innovation in teaching. "Jan Cooper has been a leader, on campus and nationally, in promoting writing across the curriculum," he said. "Ron DiCenzo has generated excitement about Japan for legions of students, many of whom have gone on to distinguished careers in Japanese studies. Denny Smith was instrumental in developing neuroscience as a field of study at the undergraduate level."
Besides the honor of being selected, recipients receive a cash prize of $1,000. Their names will also be inscribed on a plaque, which will be placed in an appropriate setting.
The College Faculty Council will make the awards each year based on information gathered during the regular merit-evaluation process, on nominations from department chairs, and on the recommendation of the dean of the college. Recipients will not be eligible for the prize a second time.