Photo: Michael Marsland
2017 Faculty Teaching Prize Winners
A reception to honor this year’s winners will be held Monday, May 1, 2017, 3:00 p.m., in the Presidents’ Room, Schwarzman Center.
African American Studies and English
The Sidonie Miskimin Clauss ’75 Prize for Teaching Excellence in the Humanities
The Lex Hixon ’63 Prize for Teaching Excellence in the Social Sciences
Teaching Excellence in the Natural Sciences and Mathematics
East Asian Languages and Literatures
The Richard H. Brodhead ’68 Prize for Teaching Excellence by a Lecturer or Lector
Sarai Ribicoff ’79 Award for Teaching Excellence in Yale College
The Harwood F. Byrnes /Richard B. Sewall Teaching Prize
In 1980, the Yale College Faculty approved the following proposal for the creation and award of Yale College Prizes for Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching:
The University can help to sensitize the Yale community to the importance it attaches to good teaching by regularly honoring those who have demonstrated excellence in this area. The Committee on Teaching and Learning recommends a four-year experiment in which up to three prizes … [will] be awarded to outstanding teachers at each Class Day or Commencement Exercise. The Committee on Teaching and Learning will solicit nominations from the faculty and student body at large, seek such other information on the quality of teaching as it saw fit, and make the final selections. All Yale college faculty members, other than members of the Teaching and Learning Committee, would be eligible after having taught at Yale for three years. The Committee’s charge would be to honor faculty demonstrating unique excellence in undergraduate teaching (be it laboratory, seminar, or lecture course) rather than to determine which instructors were most popular.
In 1981, the first three Yale College Teaching Prizes were established, to recognize teaching excellence by ladder faculty in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. In 1989, the Yale College faculty created a fourth prize, to be awarded to a Lecturer, Lector, Senior Lecturer, Senior Lector, or Adjunct Professor. In 1993, a fifth prize was established by an anonymous alumnus in the Class of 1942, to be awarded to “a teacher in Yale College who has given the most time, energy, and effective effort to helping undergraduates learn.” In 2010, the Teaching and Learning Committee took up the work of nominating recipients for an earlier, longstanding prize, the Sarai Ribicoff prize, previously administered by a separate nominating committee.
The Sidonie Miskimin Clauss Prize
awarded for teaching excellence in the humanities
The Lex Hixon ’63 Prize
awarded for teaching excellence in the social sciences
The Dylan Hixon ’88 Prize
awarded for teaching excellence in the natural sciences
The Richard H. Brodhead ’68 Prize
awarded for teaching excellence by non-ladder faculty
The Harwood F. Byrnes / Richard B. Sewall Teaching Prize
awarded to any faculty member who over a long period of service has inspired a great number of students and consistently fostered the learning process both inside and outside the classroom
The Sarai Ribicoff ’79 Prize
awarded to a non-tenured member of the Yale College faculty in the humanities division “whose instruction and character reflect the qualities of independence, innovation, and originality” that were exemplified by the life and thought of this distinguished alumna
Every semester, the Teaching and Learning Committee accepts nominations through a dedicated website. It then submits its recommendations to the Dean of Yale College, who names the winners and invites them and their students to a reception at the end of the academic year.
The Poorvu Family Fund for Teaching in Yale College
Prize Teaching Fellowships
The Prize Teaching Fellowships are considered among the most important honors that Yale bestows upon graduate students and recognize outstanding performance and promise as a teacher. Based on the nominations from undergraduate students and faculty, Prize Teaching Fellowships are awarded jointly through the offices of the Dean of the Graduate School and the Dean of Yale College. Each April, selection is made by a committee. Nominations may be made by e-mail or by letter to the Prize Fellowship Committee, c/o Yale College Dean’s Office, 110 SSS. Nominations should be as detailed and specific as possible and include the full name of the graduate student being nominated, the title and number of the course the graduate student taught, the semester in which the course was taught, and the full name of the person making the nomination.
Yale graduate students in good standing in a Ph. D. program who have served in Yale College as Teaching Fellows (TFs) or Part-Time Acting Instructors (PTAIs) in academic year 2012-13 are eligible for nomination for Prize Teaching Fellowships.
The awards will be based upon excellence in performance as TFs or PTAIs , as attested to by undergraduate students and by supervising faculty. To be eligible for selection, graduate students must be making satisfactory progress towards the Ph.D. degree, as shown in the Dissertation Progress Report filed with the Graduate School.
Selection will be made in the spring of 2017 by a committee consisting of the Dean of Undergraduate Education in Yale College, an Associate Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning, and the Assistant Director of the Teaching Fellow Program in the Graduate School.
The Nomination Process
Students in Yale College may nominate any graduate student enrolled in a Ph.D. program whom they had as a Teaching Fellow (TF) or Part-Time Acting Instructor (PTAI) in an undergraduate course in either the fall or spring term, 2012-13.
Nominations need not be lengthy, but it helps the selection committee make their decisions if letters provide specific information about how a particular TF or PTAI has excelled as an instructor rather than general expressions of enthusiasm. This is not a popularity contest or an election in which the determination is made merely on the number of nominations received. The selection committee reads the letters of nomination and pays attention to the quality rather than just the quantity of information it receives.
Twice a year, at the end of the fall term and in the middle of the spring term, the Yale College Dean’s Office will invite nominations by e-mailing all Yale College students with an active <yale.edu> e-mail account. The Yale College Dean’s Office will also seek nominations through notices placed in residential college weekly newsletters. To avoid potential conflicts of interest, graduate student instructors should not solicit their students for nominations, but if asked by undergraduates how to go about making a nomination, should refer them to this website.
Letters of nomination must include the full name of the person writing the letter, the full name of the graduate student being nominated for the Prize Teaching Fellowship, and the name or number of the course in which the graduate student taught and the term (fall or spring) in which it was offered. Undergraduates writing letters of nomination should include information about their own class year and residential college.
Deadline for Nominations
The deadline for receipt of letters of nomination is March 31, 2018.
Once student nominations have been received and sorted, the selection committee will contact relevant departments and seek supporting information from the faculty member in charge of the course with which the TF or PTAI was affiliated, or as relevant, the DUS, DGS, Chair, or other departmental officer of the program sponsoring the course. These additional materials help the selection committee to make its final choices from among those nominated by undergraduates.
The number of Prize Teaching Fellowships is not strictly capped, but is expected in any given year to fall between ten and fifteen.
The winners of Prize Teaching Fellowships receive a cash prize of $3000 to be awarded in spring 2017.
Teaching stipends for courses taught in 2016-17 by Prize Teaching Fellowship winners will be paid at the levels set for those forms of instruction for that year and will be disbursed in accordance to the normal schedule of payment for those ranks.
Those selected as Prize Teaching Fellows will be honored at a celebratory event in the fall, hosted by the Dean of the Graduate School and the Dean of Yale College.
Prize Teaching Fellows 1999-00 to 2014-2015
Selected for 2014-2015
Alexander Cerjan, Physics
Selected for 2013-2014
Andrew Horowitz, History
Selected for 2012-2013
Alexander Cerjan, Physics
Selected for 2011-2012
Jennifer Lambe, History
Selected for 2010-2011
Gwendolyn M. Bradford, Philosophy
Selected for 2009-2010
Ryan Brasseaux, American Studies
Selected for 2008-2009
Eric Bianchi, Music
Selected for 2007-2008
Justin Belardi, Chemistry
Selected for 2006-2007
Carolyn Davidson, History
Selected for 2005-2006
Mikhail Ershov, Mathematics
Selected for 2004-2005
Eugenius Ang, Neurobiology
Selected for 2003-2004
Eugenius Ang, Neurobiology
Selected for 2002-2003
Patricio Boyer, Comparative Literature
Selected for 2001-2002
Joseph Acquisto, French
Selected for 2000-2001
Adam Bristol, Psychology
Selected for 1999-2000
Rabab Abdulhadi, Sociology