2020 Excellence in Teaching Award Co-Finalists Announced

This year's Excellence in Teaching Award co-finalists include Hilary Sarat-St. Peter, Carolina Posse, Joseph Kramer, Wendi Weber, Derek Fawcett, Sam Roe, Lauren Downing Peters, Khalid Long, and Matthew Andersen.

Nine Columbia faculty members have been selected as finalists for the 2020 Excellence in Teaching awards. 

Faculty and students were invited to nominate faculty members from November-February for the annual award and the nine co-finalists were selected by members of the Excellence in Teaching Award Committee. Each winner received $500.

According to Senior Vice President and Provost Marcella David, the Committee felt the usual practice of conducting classroom observations would not only be logistically difficult, but unethical as well. As a result, the committee decided to cease deliberations at the point of their usual semi-finalist selection and consider all individuals as co-finalists in the 2020 Awards. 

"They know, as well as I, that it is always energizing to see the exceptional ways our faculty bring their individual talents and expertise to our classrooms," said David.

The committee reports that the decision-making was as difficult as always and shared a bit about what most impressed them about the finalists:

Full-Time Faculty

Lauren Downing Peters, Assistant Professor, Fashion Studies Department
The committee was particularly impressed by her commitment to focusing on inspiring students to impact change in the industry and was struck by her concept of “profound restlessness.” 
Carolina Posse, Assistant Professor, Cinema and Television Arts Department
The committee was particularly impressed by her teaching range—from intro to practicum courses—and the ways she thinks about the relationship between teaching and filmmaking in terms of process. 
Khalid Long, Assistant Professor, Theatre Department
The committee was specifically impressed by his commitment to deconstructing paradigms and hierarchy and his approach of starting discussions by letting the students lead, but emphasizing to them the need to be able to support their claims and assertions.
Hilary Sarat-St. Peter, Associate Professor, English and Creative Writing Department
Multiple committee members specifically noted the relevance of her Writing for the Creative Workplace course and the ways she assists our students in getting their voices out into the world.
Wendi Weber, Assistant Professor of Instruction, Theatre Department
The committee was particularly impressed by student comments on her course evaluations and the personal tone in her teaching philosophy.
Part-Time Faculty

Matthew Andersen, Adjunct Faculty, American Sign Language Department
The committee was particularly impressed by his hands-on teaching approach and student enthusiasm for his courses.
Derek Fawcett, Adjunct Faculty, Music Department
The committee was particularly impressed by the care and concern Mr. Fawcett exhibits in his teaching philosophy and really appreciated his three-part teaching framework: inquire, listen, respond. 
Joseph Kramer, Adjunct Faculty, Audio Arts and Acoustics
The committee was particularly impressed by the fact that his Canvas courses are already updated in response to the need to move our face-to-face to remote learning because of the current global pandemic.
Sam Roe, Adjunct Faculty, Communication Department
The committee particularly appreciated the connection he has with journalism as a profession and the use of finger puppets as literal, visual reminders that a journalist not be a puppet in their work.