Yale Bulletin and Calendar

May 25, 2001Volume 29, Number 31Three-Week Issue

The faculty members honored on Senior Class Day for outstanding teaching are (from left) Michael Koelle, Dianne Jonas, Christy Anderson and Giuseppe Mazzotta. (Not pictured is Bassam Frangieh, who was out of the country at the time.) They were selected by undergraduates for the annual awards.

Teaching Prizes

Five faculty members named as outstanding teachers were honored with special awards at the Yale College Senior Class Day program on May 20.

The teachers were nominated by undergraduates for the awards, which were presented by Yale College Dean Richard H. Brodhead. This year's winners and their award citations follow.

Christy Anderson
Assistant Professor of the History of Art

The Sidonie Miskimin Clauss Prize for Teaching Excellence in the Humanities
The Sarai Ribicoff Award for the Encouragement of Teaching at Yale College

In your classes on the history of art -- especially in your seminars on Renaissance architecture, but also in your survey course -- you make students feel like genuine partners in a common search for knowledge. Plain-spoken yet equipped with an impressive command of technical vocabularies, you find just the right words to get students to see how an English country house fits into and reshapes its landscape setting, or how marble façades stretch over Venetian palazzi. Students solicit your equally eloquent advice on everything from architectural projects to life crises.

It's a special distinction to win just one of these prizes. But this year two distinct selection committees concurred to give this appropriately monumental expression of the appreciation of Yale students for your towering achievements as a mentor and teacher.

Giuseppe Mazzotta
The Charles C. & Dorothea S. Dilley Professor of Italian Language and Literature

The Harwood F. Byrnes / Richard B. Sewall Teaching Prize

In over 30 years of teaching at Yale, you have introduced hundreds of students to medieval and Renaissance literature -- especially in your popular course on Dante. Leading students through Dante's world, you show them how to appreciate, and criticize, their own. One former student describes your lectures as "a scholarly journey in understanding the most essential qualities of human experience." While you are a busy, internationally celebrated scholar, you manage to keep your door and your heart open to students seeking words of encouragement, support and wisdom. If on his pilgrimage Dante was fortunate to have Vergil help him find his way, Yale students consider themselves equally fortunate to be guided and taught by Dante's foremost interpreter, Giuseppe Mazzotta.

Dianne Jonas
Assistant Professor of Linguistics

The Lex Hixon Prize for Teaching Excellence in the Social Sciences

After just one class with you, students who initially showed only the remotest interest in linguistics signed up to become majors. And then they found, as a bonus, that you were willing to explain to their parents exactly what that meant and why it was nothing to worry about, really. What these adepts took away from your classes on syntax was not arcane knowledge, but an awakening to the pleasures of the life of the mind. Whether challenging students to scrutinize everyday usage or the latest scholarly publication, you show them that language doesn't just express human nature, it is human nature.

Michael Koelle
Assistant Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry

The Dylan Hixon Prize for Teaching Excellence in the Natural Sciences

Students think of you as having a profound grasp both of biochemistry and of "group chemistry." Unquestionably a master of what you teach, you also understand how students learn. You help students feel a part of a scientific community by drawing connections between this week's lesson and cutting-edge research. By regularly offering additional sessions for those who might benefit from being shown another approach or given a second chance, you make the study of genetic analysis and metabolic processes accessible to everyone in your courses. The wit and dash you show in all that you do raises Yale's intellectual metabolic rate.

Bassam Frangieh
Senior Lector of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations (Arabic)

The Yale College Prize for Teaching Excellence by a Lecturer or Lector

With zeal and skill in equal measure, you have introduced hundreds of Yale students to the language of the Arab world and shared with them your insights into its cultures and history. Your passion for the complex beauties of Arabic instills a special pleasure into even the first exercises of the introductory course. The swift progress your students make thereafter surprises them, but not you, who have subtly masterminded and encouraged their advancement. Whether helping them to form unfamiliar consonants or cooking them Middle Eastern delicacies, you not only bring your students joy, you make their joy articulate.

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Baccalaureate Address

Honorary Degrees

Senior Class Day

Teaching Prizes

Scholastic Prizes

David Everett Chantler Prize

Elliott and Mallory Athletic Awards

Robert E. Lewis Award for Intramural Sports

Roosevelt L. Thompson Prize

William H. McKim Prize

Other Undergraduate Awards and Honors

Graduate Student Awards and Honors

Wilbur Cross Medals


Yale Celebrates 300th Commencement

Festival to feature everything from opera to aerial dancers

Alumni returning to campus for reunion weekends


Exhibit recalls Snowdon's 'irreverent' photographic visions

British Art Center hosting talks, trips, music during International Festival

International Festival of Arts and Ideas: Events on Campus

International Festival of Arts and Ideas: Tours


Outreach program bringing seniors to the Peabody

Campus Notes

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