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

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Dean's Diversity Award was not presented in 2021. It will resume in 2022.

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

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Dean's Leadership Award was not presented in 2021. It will resume in 2022.

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

2021 Recipient:

Alison Hill, Senior Lecturer, Biology

Alison Hill headshot

From students: “Taking [Professor Hill's class] has introduced to me the many nuances in the concepts I had formerly been exposed to. I would also argue that this new method of learning encourages me to ask more questions because of the substantial increase in critical thinking required, which I am thankful for!"

"I appreciate the mastery aspect in this class!! Learning is not just about making the grade, but it's about understanding HOW + WHY something works the way it does. I feel like I am leaving Biology understanding a lot of material and how it actually works in my body.”

“This course was designed with a lot of forethought. We had an entire lecture/insight on learning and different techniques to learn best. My performance in this class may have not been the best, but I did learn, interestingly, how to learn from this class!”

Past Recipients

Robert B. Cox Award

2021 Recipient:

Bridgette Hard, Associate Professor of the Practice, Psychology & Neuroscience

Bridgette Hard headshot

From students: “Every lecture was very well-organized and structured, yet was engaging! It felt like a TED-talk. Prof. Hard proposed ways that we could apply the concepts we learned in class to our own lives or our relationships with those around us, which was very helpful."

"I really liked how Bridgette welcomed discussions and how we could just talk about we learned. She didn't just lecture at us but allowed us to relate to the material. This class was my highlight of the week, and I genuinely looked forward to it every Monday. I cannot stress enough how grateful I am that I took this class. I'm going to miss this class, and it has easily been my favorite class so far at Duke."

Past Recipients

Howard D. Johnson Award

2021 Recipient:

Rebecca Stein, Associate Professor, Cultural Anthropology

Rebecca Stein headshot

From colleagues: “By contrast to the temptation of some of us to go easy, [Stein] has a reputation as a very challenging teacher, one who demands full engagement and teaches difficult material. That makes it all the more remarkable that students have such high praise for her. I’ve heard them speak about her classes as their very favorites, precisely for the way that they felt challenged and inspired. They describe Rebecca’s courses as genuine intellectual experiences that delve deep and reward by their complex richness.

From students: “[Stein's course] is a fantastic introduction to critical visual theory and human rights. Highly recommend taking it if you're interested in human rights, social media and human rights, or visuality and human rights.”

Past Recipients

Richard K. Lublin Award

2021 Recipient:

Kelly Alexander, Lecturing Fellow, Center for Documentary Studies

Kelly Alexander headshot

From Students: “Kelly is so, so supportive of her students, and knowledgeable and passionate about her subject. I will always remember this class!!”

"Without a doubt, this is the best class I have ever taken at Duke. Professor Alexander is the best! Class was always extremely interesting and everyone always wanted to participate. I highly recommend this to anyone that wants to take it."

"Professor Alexander really cares about transforming students into better writers. She designs her class to be fun and instructive, and she's knowledgeable in the wide array of topics we covered. One of the best professors/teachers I've ever had.

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.

2021 Recipient:

Makeba Parramore Wilbourn, Associate Professor of the Practice, Psychology & Neuroscience

Makeba Parramore Wilbourn headshot

From students: "I would’ve been lost without her…she helped me choose classes that really helped me grow and learn what I wanted to do. She gave me advice and explained things to me in ways I had never thought of before. She really helped me come to terms with my identity and who I am, and that itself is something so valuable to me, I could never be grateful enough for that. Words she said to me my first semester freshman year I can still remember so clearly, her impact on my life is unmeasurable."

“I always appreciate the time that Dr. Wilbourn took to make sure that I was always doing okay, both with my physical and mental health. I always knew that I had a faculty member that cared about me and knew me for who I was outside of my academics, which I know not all students 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.

2021 Recipient:

Sarah Parsons, Lecturing Fellow, Thompson Writing Program

Sarah Parsons headshot

From colleagues: “Through her classroom teaching and course design, students are encouraged to engage with scientific writing and entomology not only as undergraduates, but also as citizens with the potential to influence public opinion and propose policy. Dr. Parsons enlivens her class and broadens its scope by providing students the opportunity to interact with class visitors, who this semester included Duke scientists and a local government official.”

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

Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award (ADUTA)

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award was not presented in 2021. It will resume in 2022.

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