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May 27, 2004 • Volume 12 Number 18

Five Receive Teaching and Research Awards at Faculty Day

Five Boston College faculty members were presented awards for distinguished teaching and research during the annual Faculty Day luncheon held on May 10 in the Lower Campus Dining Hall.

After receiving the citations, presented by University President William P. Leahy, SJ, and Academic Vice President and Dean of Faculties John J. Neuhauser, the award-winning faculty members later offered reflections on the honors.

Teaching Awards

Assoc. Prof. Daniel Barnett (Law) has taught Legal Reasoning, Research and Writing at Boston College since 1990.

"I love what I do. I love my students. [Boston College] is a great place to teach. Every day is positive for me. The students make it easy.

"I teach Legal Research, Reasoning and Writing - one of the required courses in the first year. Because it's a writing course, it's a full load for me. That's the only course I teach. It's a fairly intensive experience - both for the students and for those of us who teach it."

Assoc. Prof. Kathleen McInnis-Dittrich (GSSW) is chair of the Social Work Foundation and teaches courses such as Therapeutic Interventions with the Aged and Social Work Practice.

"Every day that I walk into a classroom, I consider teaching to be a privilege, and it's a privilege to teach at Boston College.

"Having the honor of teaching in a professional program is somewhat different, because we affect not only what happens with the students, but for all of the clients and client systems that they will come in contact with in their lifetimes. That's a tremendous honor, and a big responsibility.

"In a nutshell, I think what comprises good teaching is, first, a passion for your subject; really, really loving what you teach. Second, a genuine like and respect for students, because they are our 'customers.' We are there because they are there. The third thing is if you sprinkle a little bit of having fun over the whole combination, it seems to come together."

Prof. Diana Pullin (LSOE), who holds a law degree in addition to her expertise in the fields of education law and public policy, first joined the Lynch School faculty as an adjunct associate professor in 1982 and served as LSOE dean from 1987 through 1994.

"It is an honor to be recognized for teaching intellectually rigorous classes to a multi-disciplinary group of law students, experienced education practitioners, and novice future educators.

"Keeping such a mixed group engaged and successfully interacting with each other is a real challenge; the educators are intimidated by the law students and the law students are even more intimidated by the education students - law students have just been trained not to show it! My only goal throughout the semester is to keep them all equally intimidated by me!

"We have wonderful students at Boston College, so it is a privilege to teach them all."

Research Awards

Prof. Arthur Lewbel (Economics) has been described as "a scholar with a stellar international reputation, whose work has wide impact in the field of economics and econometrics" and who has played "a crucial role in enhancing the national and international rankings of the Economic Department."

Lewbel said, "I'm very pleased and honored to receive the Boston College distinguished research award. It's very gratifying to be at a University that provides this sort of recognition."

Prof. Alan Richardson (English) has drawn praise for his research in three distinct areas of romantic studies, as well as his edited book Romanticism, Race and Imperial Culture and his edition of abolitionist poetry, plus numerous essays and scholarly volumes in peer-reviewed journals.

"The award has less to say about any one researcher than about the vibrant intellectual culture of the English Department as a whole, which I've seen move from strength to strength over the 17 years I've been at BC," said Richardson. "I feel especially privileged to belong to a department that supports innovative research, such as interest in cognitive approaches to literature that I share with my colleague Mary Crane and that I see as one of the most exciting prospects for literary studies in the 21st century."

-Reid Oslin

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