2016 Brickman Teaching Awards
The recipient must have demonstrated a vibrant interest in the learning process, as well as an understanding of teaching as a continuously evolving art form.
Adam Davis, Associate Professor of History
Introducing Davis, Provost Kim Coplin said, “Adam is a dedicated scholar and teacher of the liberal arts. His transparent love of his discipline and field informs his deep commitment to inspiring excitement among his students. Adam's classrooms are places where ideas stand at the center, and where students are charged with a rigorous exploration of the complexity and original intonations of textual and visual materials. He describes his courses as places where students are “empowered to be active learners” by deep engagement with sources and with one another’s ideas. Adam is dedicated to making his courses experiential, through classroom debates, immersion in archival materials, and museum visits. He is also a much sought-after research advisor who provides thoughtful and engaged mentoring to those students seeking to immerse themselves in a time, space, and mentality far from their own. His advising and teaching make vivid the elusive traces of the past.
Robert Weis, Associate Professor of Psychology
Describing Weis, Provost Kim Coplin said “Bob considers himself to be a pragmatist and an empiricist who seeks to “do what works based upon the available data.” His teaching is an ongoing pursuit of “integrating the world of practical affairs and the world of ideas” and his teaching is informed by the mission of helping students to gain understanding of how those worlds interconnect. Bob has developed labs that give students a chance to “practice behavioral research methods and data analysis first-hand,” including explorations of the ways in which implicit attitudes and unconscious bias inform individual actions and social engagement. As students master fundamental skills in labs and coursework, he also seeks to inspire their independent quest for knowledge by supervising multiple independent and summer research projects. Bob's approach to teaching recognizes that while ultimately relatively few of his students might work in his field, all will be called to “be liberal artists, that is, to gain an understanding of themselves in relation to others in the world.”