Award Winning Teachers

Each year, the Arts & Sciences Council honors outstanding faculty members for their teaching, service, mentoring and research. Since her arrival, Dean Valerie Ashby has also bestowed honors on those who distinguished themselves through leadership and the advancement of diversity.

Dean's Diversity Award

This award recognizes how diversity drives excellence in research, teaching, advising, mentoring, and service. All Trinity faculty, staff, and graduate students are eligible.

2020 Recipients:
Kathy Franz
Katherine Franz

Franz, Chair, Chemistry
Amanda Hargrove, Assistant Professor, Chemistry

From colleagues: “As Chair of Chemistry, Kathy has work tirelessly (and successfully I might add) to build an inclusive environment in our Department that pervades all aspects of our Department's mission including research, teaching, advising, and mentoring.”

“I have seen first-hand [Kathy's] commitment to best practices in hiring, at all levels. It is this commitment and her leadership in this area that has led to increased consideration of traditionally underrepresented candidates in faculty and staff searches and in increased diversity in the offers of employment made by our Department in recent years."

Amanda Hargrove
Amanda Hargrove

“From the first days of her faculty position at Duke in 2013, Amanda has purposefully and intentionally created a culture of collaboration, mutual support, inclusion and outreach. This commitment pervades all aspects of her research, teaching and service.”

"Amanda’s phenomenal success in her research program provides an exemplary model of how values of diversity and inclusion are not just “the right thing to do,” but are part of the fabric of excellence to which the academy aspires."

Past Recipients

Dean's Leadership Award

This award recognizes a group of people or an individual who have demonstrated exceptional leadership to the department, college or university through research, teaching or service. All faculty and staff of Trinity College of Arts & Sciences are eligible for the award.

2020 Recipient:

Leo Ching, Associate Professor, Asian & Middle Eastern Studies and Director, International Comparative Studies

Leo Ching

From colleagues: “Prof. Ching is truly unique and extraordinary in his camaraderie and generosity towards colleagues and students, and for the record of distinguished service on a truly broad spectrum.”

“Among many other noteworthy services Prof. Ching has performed for the university, I would like to highlight the intensive labor and the critical role he played in the creation of the Asian-American Studies Program and the CAH-MA program. For the former, he worked closely with students who were campaigning for the inclusion of Asian-American Studies in the curriculum and volunteered as a faculty liaison between them and the administration to pave the way to the formal launching of the program. For the CAH-MA, partnering with Prof. Carlos Rojas, Prof. Ching spearheaded careful and successful efforts to establish an MA program in the department through identifying and developing a track in the existing APSI MA program. A collaborative relationship with the APSI that Prof. Ching managed to forge in this process has resulted in the stabilization and flourishing of both of the MA programs.”

“Leo had been an integral part of ICS, as a member of the Program Committee, advisor for ICS students, and guest lecturer in the ICS gateway course, for years prior to his appointment as Director of ICS in 2018. His leadership has been incredibly important to the current success of ICS. Leo has boldly led this program down the path of making the ICS curriculum and faculty stronger, through hiring and course development, while simultaneously beginning the process of building new programming to help ICS add to the overall Duke curriculum. He took over a program that was having a difficult time thriving, and has turned it into a space of intellectual rigor for both students and faculty. He supports students and faculty in any way he can.”

Past Recipients
  • Associate Professor
  • Associate Research Professor
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    Naval Science Advisor Team
    Maj. Joseph Steinfels, Capt. Barry Morris, Lt. Joseph Bivans, Lt. Christopher Thumen, Lt. Alexander Dworjan, Lt. Karl Meyer, GySgt Zach Doty
    Navy ROTC
  • Professor
    Art, Art History & Visual Studies
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    Kenneth Lyle
    Chemistry (Outreach Program)
  • Spanish countryside
    Spanish Language Program's Civic Engagement Initiative
    Eileen Anderson, Joan Clifford, Rebecca Ewing, Bethzaida Fernandez, Lisa Merschel, Joan Munne, Liliana Parades, Maria Romero, Melissa Simmermeyer, Rosa Solorzano, Graciela Vidal, William Villalba
    Romance Studies
  • Physics Building
    Physics Team Members
    Ayana Arce, Ashutosh Kotwal, Al Goshaw, Mark Kruse, Seog Oh, Jack Fowler, Chiho Wang, William Ebenstein, Doug Benjamin, Andrea Bocci

Undergraduate Teaching Awards


David and Janet Vaughan Brooks Award

2020 Recipient:

Charles Nunn, Gosnell Family Professor in Global Health, Evolutionary Anthropology

Charles Nunn

From colleagues: “Prof. Nunn generates excitement and enthusiasm among undergraduates because of his openness, approachability, clarity in presenting concepts, and genuine interest in other people’s points of view and perspective."

"Nunn expects students to develop research hypotheses and takeleadership on tractable dimensions of the overall project. Students on his three previous [Bass Connections] teams have produced seven undergraduate honors theses and two Global Health Masters theses. In addition, four students from his teams have been listed as authors on peer-reviewed publications. Mentoring undergraduate students to conduct high-level research of this nature takes effort and creativity."

From students: “Professor Nunn genuniely cares about your learning and understanding. He appreciates questions and student curiosity and can connect you to tons of research.”

“Dr. Nunn is an awesome professor! He is clearly passionate about his work, and his charisma makes lectures interesting and engaging.”

Past Recipients

Robert B. Cox Award

2020 Recipient:

Gabriel Rosenberg, Associate Professor, Gender, Sexuality & Feminist Studies

Gabriel Rosenberg

From colleagues: “Exceptionally thorough and conscientious in his preparation, Professor Rosenberg is excellent at facilitating discussion. I can see what students mean when they praise his balance of discussion and lecture. He brings a playful spirit to the class and clearly has fun, but at the same time he manages skillfully to introduce difficult theoretical concepts in ways students at multiple levels can understand and join the discussion."

“Gabe is both an exceptionally rigorous and a wonderfully innovative instructor. He works very hard to meet students where they are and then to help them to higher levels of knowledge and critical thinking.”

From students: “Rosenberg is a phenomenal lecturer and very attuned to where he wants the lecture to go and what concepts he wants us to grasp. ”

“This was seriously one of the best classes I've taken at Duke. Professor Rosenberg is super knowledgeable, articulate, and intellectually sophisticated. He pushed and challenged us to think deeper and differently, but at the same time he made sure to break down and explain difficult concepts or tough readings. He is also really personable and very willing to help students with understanding concepts and developing their arguments for papers. ”

Past Recipients

Howard D. Johnson Award

2020 Recipient:

Jen'nan Read, Sally Dalton Robinson Professor, Sociology

Jen'nan Read

From colleagues: “Professor Read’s undergraduate teaching ability comes through clearly in these two courses, in which she encourages hands-on learning by requiring students to engage in group fieldwork projects in Durham that identify ways in which social factors shape racial and ethnic health disparities in our community. In both classes, she has also introduced innovative techniques such as flipped classrooms and small-group problem-solving exercises, while providing a clear course structure and individual attention.

“Jen’nan is consistently mentioned among students as one of their favorite professors within sociology. This is impressive because some of these students are not even sociology majors, but rather students coming from the natural sciences to take courses in medical sociology.”

From students: “One of the kindest, smartest, most caring and interesting professors I have had at Duke.”

“Professor Read is an exceptional professor she makes learning enjoyable and takes the time to get to know her students. I appreciate the enthusiasm and passion she has for the subject."

Past Recipients

Richard K. Lublin Award

2020 Recipient:

Charlotte Sussman, Professor, English

Charlotte Sussman

From colleagues: “As further evidence of the vitality of Professor Sussman’s teaching method, one of the students in the most recent section of the 'Doctor’s Stories' class was so excited by that course that she went on to develop a spring 2019 House Course on 'Human Experimentation in Medicine and Literature,' which Professor Sussman sponsored. It is difficult to imagine a more compelling testimony to the success of this class and Professor Sussman’s teaching. ”

"Charlotte’s skill as a teacher goes well beyond the walls and hours of class-time. I find her an inspiring model and collaborator, and have enjoyed working with her and the other colleagues in the lab to see our undergraduates flourish."

From Students: “Professor Sussman’s class was a great example of what can happen when a professor truly invests in how the student is experiencing the course. She acknowledges when we are struggling with a concept the book raises or finding evidence to support a claim that a secondary source is making. She always provides a biographical sketch for each author we read and encourages us to explore how that contributes to the context of the work. She challenges us to think deeper, letting other students consider and respond to a question that one student raises, rather than giving a definitive answer herself and moving on. Above all, she is an encourager, always rooting for her students to do better, and that enthusiasm is a great motivator.”

Past Recipients

Award for Excellence in Advising

The Award for Excellence in Advising, first presented in 2007, honors faculty and staff advisers who have helped guide undergraduates in the first two years at Duke.

2020 Recipient:

Todd Woerner, Lecturing Fellow, Chemistry

Todd Woerner

From students: “Dr. Woerner always pushed me to understand and be able to articulate why I was doing the things I was doing. Every time I walk out of his office, I feel more confident in my decisions and like I have learned something new about a topic that interests me. He makes me feel like a priority of his and will take as much time out of his day to talk with me about anything I may want.”

“He listened. Even though listening is a simple concept, a lot of people are not good at being a rapt listener. Dr. Woerner took time from his busy schedule to give me his undivided attention. This attention to my needs was much appreciated and deserves some recognition.”

2020 Recipient:

Amanda Curtin Soydan, Data Analyst and Learning Consultant, Academic Resource Center

Amanda Curtin Soydan

From students: "Amanda has had one of the greatest impacts on my experience at Duke thus far and I honestly do not think I would be where I am today without her unwavering support and eagerness to better me and a person and student. I believe that Duke would be a different place if all academic adviser's strived to have a positive impact on each and every one of their advisees, because you never know how much a student is depending on that support!"

"Amanda was always willing to listen to me talk about my classes and the reasons why I did or did not enjoy them. Every meeting was a brainstorming session where I left with valuable advice and next steps to pursue. She never seemed annoyed when I changed my major and my plans. I always felt comfortable talking to her and having her as an academic counselor undoubtedly helped shaped my Duke experience."

Past Recipients

Award for Excellence in Teaching Writing

This award recognizes exceptionally strong teachers of academic writing. The award is made possible by the generosity of the Karen Blumenthal and Scott McCartney Endowment.

2020 Recipient:

Haleema Welji, Lecturing Fellow, Thompson Writing Program

Haleema Welji

From colleagues: “Our award selection committee was particularly impressed by Haleema’s course design, and with her innovative, well-scaffolded assignments that are discipline specific, and yet transfer well to other writing contexts. Haleema facilitates strong peer-to-peer engagement, and invites students to see how their writing can make a difference.”

From students: “The class is very interesting and allows you to see multiple perspectives. Professor Welji provides a very interactive and exciting learning environment. Would strongly recommend taking this course."

“... A very effective course on learning how to write! Lots of peer interactions, which help develop your writing style as well as how you communicate your ideas to others.”

Find more information about past winners at the Thompson Writing Program website.

Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award (ADUTA)

2020 Recipient:

Bruce Jentleson, William Preston Few Distinguished Professor, Sanford School of Public Policy and Professor, Political Science

Bruce Jentleson

From students: "The two courses I took with Professor Jentleson have been some of the most challenging, unique, and useful courses I have taken at Duke. Professor Jentleson holds students to a high, yet attainable standard. He meets students where they are at and pushes them to be the best writer, thinker, student, and person they can be."

“Beyond fostering an open classroom environment for students to share and evaluate diverse opinions, Professor Jentleson challenges students to embrace intellectual complexity and nuance. He prompts students with bold, open, and intriguing questions, but warns against pursuing a one-sided or extreme stance. He encourages students to propose new ideas, but maintains an idea is insufficient without critical analysis and adequate defense."

Find more information about past winners at the Duke Alumni Association website.

University Scholar/Teacher of the Year Award

Past Recipients

Teaching with Technology Award

This award, co-sponsored by the Center for Instructional Technology, recognizes teaching excellence with a significant technology component. The faculty winner will receive a $5,000 prize. The award is open to all faculty who teach Trinity College of Arts & Sciences undergraduates.

Past Recipients

Dean's Distinguished Service Award

Past Recipients

Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award

Past Recipient