The Faculty Development Board is pleased to announce that the winner of the third Collegium Award for Excellence and Innovation in Teaching is Associate Professor of Political Science, Heather Wright. The Collegium Award recognizes outstanding teaching as well as a faculty member’s commitment to growing and improving as a teaching scholar. It is the only teaching award at Wittenberg that is judged by the faculty itself. Any faculty member who has taught at Wittenberg for at least three years is eligible for this award and it carries with it a one-time $1,000 stipend. Nominees submitted a portfolio of teaching materials, including syllabi, sample assignments, IDEA reports, a recent peer teaching evaluation, and a brief statement of teaching philosophy to the Faculty Development Board for review.
Associate Professor Dr. Heather Wright began teaching at Wittenberg in 2004. Heather has worked to design courses that reflect her “sense of increasing urgency to connect theory more explicitly to practice,” engaging the students in exploring political theory in the context of current political problems. This has fundamentally shaped her classes. She has also incorporated her own professional experiences into the classroom, exemplified by her revision of POLI 216R: Family Values: The Politics of Virtue, Care and Equality, building from her experiences as a Fulbright Lecturer in Poland.
Colleagues praised Heather’s work in the classroom, describing her as “thoughtful of her pedagogy” as exemplified by her continued reflection on her course goals and interactions with students in the classroom. Heather describes good teaching as requiring “academic mastery, clarity of expression, respect for students, flexibility, a willingness and ability to meet students where they are, and inspiring, effective coaching.” Heather’s colleagues describe her putting this into action in the classroom where her role is “not to ‘tell’ students what to believe, but rather scaffold their learning so that they form their beliefs around a series of theories and readings.”
Heather Wright was recognized as the recipient of the 2013 Collegium Award at the opening convocation this fall. Please join us in congratulating Heather on her achievement.
-Margaret Goodman, for the Faculty Development Board
The Faculty Development Board acknowledges the generosity of an anonymous faculty colleague whose gift to the Wittenberg Fund made possible this teaching award.