On Thursday, February 18, 2021, from 4:40-5:30pm, three members of the GU College Faculty—Patrick Johnson (Physics), Chandra Manning (History) and Libbie Rifkin (English)—will receive the Dean’s Excellence in Teaching Award. This award is given to “exceptional educators who are deeply committed to enriching the undergraduate experience.” In the words of Interim Dean Soyica Diggs Colbert, “The innovation, dedication, and commitment of these teachers contributes significantly to advancing the mission of Georgetown College.”
In the words of the official University announcement, Patrick Johnson’s “greatest passion is creating an environment where complex topics like physics are accessible to all.” In his 170-student Principles of Physics course, he uses a variety of strategies to facilitate learning, including quickly getting to know his students as individuals and using virtual reality tools as well. CNDLS programs like TEL and Doyle have further helped him to develop his courses. Johnson says, “I love teaching physics. When Georgetown hired me six years ago, I felt like I had gotten my dream job. I still feel that way.”
Chandra Manning’s CNDLS connections include facilitating workshops for the Apprenticeship in Teaching Program and participating in Teach the Speech as a panelist. Along with innovations in her own courses, Manning was the architect of the HIST099 course curriculum required of all GU College students. The innovative features of this course and the way it was scaled across the department received special recognition as part of the 2019 Provost’s Innovation in Teaching Showcase. When Georgetown shifted to an online teaching format, for Manning this “meant looking loss squarely in the face rather than cheerily pretending it was not there. And then it meant beginning from that shared experience of loss to consider loss and crisis as elements of human experience that we shared with other humans in the past.”
Libbie Rifkin, the founding director of the Program in Disability Studies at Georgetown and special advisor for disability to the vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion, says that, “Classroom teaching is at the heart of my work. Now more than ever, we see that a pedagogy of care can be vitalizing, in ways that extend far beyond the classroom. I’m grateful for the chance to discover this, each time anew, with my students.” In addition to receiving recognition for the program at the 2019 Provost’s Innovation in Teaching Awards, Rifkin has been a workshop facilitator for CNDLS’ Apprenticeship in Teaching Program, has received a Curriculum Enrichment Grant, and has participated in PODS.
Please celebrate these devoted and accomplished Georgetown colleagues and join the event virtually via this Zoom link.