Distinguished Colleagues

Distinguished Colleagues

The winners of the Boston College Distinguished Faculty awards reflect the University's standards for excellence in teaching, research and service activities. In this issue, Chronicle profiles the two winners in the teaching category.

Name: Asst. Prof. Audrey Friedman

Department: Lynch School of Education

Years at BC: 10

Star pupil: Actor Kevin Bacon, a student at the Philadelphia high school where she taught in the 1970s - "He was a sweet kid and came from a great family."

For Asst. Prof. Audrey Friedman, a unique teaching experience early in her career laid the foundation for years of innovative instruction inside and outside of the classroom - and, eventually, earned her a Boston College Distinguished Faculty Award for teaching.

After graduating from the University of Massachusetts in 1972 and a short teaching stint at South Hadley High School, Friedman moved to Philadelphia and took a position with the Parkway Alternative High School, a school "without walls."

Designed as a program for students from a variety of backgrounds, Parkway catered to "at-risk" pupils from troubled backgrounds and gifted students enrolled in the program because of their advanced development.

Parkway's 200 students and 12 teachers would meet in various locations throughout Philadelphia lent to the program by the city or local universities and lessons were based on a student's individual needs, recalls Friedman.

"It was an amazing experience and changed my views about how to approach education," said Friedman, who spent four years with the program, along the way earning a master's degree in reading and language arts from the University of Pennsylvania.

Friedman continued her work with at-risk and gifted students when she returned to her native Attleboro, where she taught in the public school system for 11 years.

Friedman arrived at Boston College in 1991, working in the Lynch School of Education's Center for the Study of Testing, Evaluation and Educational Policy and earning a doctorate in curriculum, instruction and higher education in 1995.

Among a variety of other professional responsibilities, Friedman works with administrators at Brighton High School and the Jackson-Mann Community School in Allston to tailor reading and writing instruction to the strengths and abilities of the individual student.

She says that her approach to teaching entails keeping a proper perspective on a student's background and past experiences.

"We're all works in progress. It's not always about getting it right," says Friedman. "It's about getting better."

Name: Prof. John L. Heineman

Department: History

Years at BC: 38

Quote of Note: "[He is] one of those rare historians who has both the grace and imaginative insight to tell a great story that informs, provokes and teaches." - Michael Meng '01

The presentation of a 2001 Distinguished Faculty Award to Prof. John L. Heineman marks the second time in four years the long-time member of the History Department has been recognized for his teaching at Boston College.
In 1997, Heineman was a co-recipient of the Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Award, given annually by students of the prestigious academic honor society.

Interviewed at the time of the award, Heineman said, "I'm very much aware that my function up there is to inform, partially to entertain, partially to inspire, but also to give them a model of analysis of how a reasonably intelligent person can look at data and make sense of it."

A native of Connersville, Ind., Heineman graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1957 and did graduate work at the Free University of Berlin and Heidelberg University in Germany before receiving his doctorate from Cornell University in 1965.

Heineman's research interests include modern Germany, the Third Reich, European intellectual and cultural history, and film and history. His publications include Hitler's First Foreign Minister: Constantin Freiherr von Neurath and Readings in European History: A Collection of Primary Sources.

On sabbatical this semester, Heineman will return to the classroom for the spring semester and will teach Cultural and Institutional History of Modern Europe and Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich.

-Stephen Gawlik


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