Each year, Denison University honors an outstanding professor with the prestigious Charles A. Brickman Teaching Excellence Award at the college’s annual Academic Awards Convocation. This year, the award was given virtually to Quentin Duroy, associate professor of economics. The Brickman award is given to members of the faculty who are master craftsmen in the profession and models of dedication to students and to student learning. The recipient has demonstrated a vibrant interest in the learning process, as well as an understanding of teaching as a continuously evolving artform.
Speaking of Duroy, Provost Kim Coplin noted, “Quentin’s teaching aims to constantly link the “world of theory” to the “real world.” His students explore the “complex interactions among institutions, norms, rules, laws, and the humans who create them.”
“His introductory courses start with a discussion of who we are as a species and end with an exploration of the accomplishments and shortcomings of large-scale institutions and policies. Advanced courses explore the role individuals, corporations, and government can play to keep human-made systems within the biophysical boundaries of our home planet. In teaching, Quentin emphasizes the merits of analytical rigor while also helping students understand that viewing society solely through the lens of statistical models carries the danger of masking ideology behind a pretense of scientific inquiry. He has expanded his coursework beyond his field, teaching in International Studies, offering a Denison Seminar that probed the balance between ecology and economy, and forging a Global Connections course on economic growth and environmental management with the American College of Greece.”
Duroy joined Denison in 2004. He holds a Diplôme d’Etudes Supérieures Spécialisées from Université de Rennes, France, a master’s from Bowling Green State University, and a doctorate from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Duroy serves on the Environmental Studies and International Studies program committees. He notes, “My teaching and scholarship are informed by pluralist and interdisciplinary perspectives which are in direct accordance with the principles of a liberal arts education and which fundamentally resonate with Denison’s commitment to fostering active learning through the interdisciplinary integration of the many forms of knowledge.”
He adds, “The fundamental premise of my work is that in an era in which human activities influence the balance of life on the planet, the decisions human beings make within the national and international policy and institutional frameworks they construct must acknowledge the finiteness of natural systems. My research is informed by an institutionalist perspective which regards the economy as a site of conflict and negotiation involving human beings acting as social agents influenced by habits of thought, institutions, vested interests and technology. The result is a complex web of interactions that constantly (re)creates and modifies the social provisioning process in the economy. In this context my recent work has sought to examine the contested terrains of biotechnology, neo-nationalism and climate change.”