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Six to be honored April 21 with Teaching Recognition Awards
Six to be honored April 21 with Teaching Recognition AwardsApril 16, 2008Sara Millersemortim@syr.edu
Six Syracuse University faculty members will be honored April 21 as the 2008 recipients of the Teaching Recognition Awards, sponsored by SU’s Meredith Professors. They will be honored at a 4 p.m. reception in the Public Events Room in Eggers Hall.
This year’s awardees are Theo Cateforis, assistant professor of music history and culture in The College of Arts and Sciences; Julie Causton-Theoharis, assistant professor of teaching and leadership in the School of Education; Roger Hallas, assistant professor of English in The College of Arts and Sciences; Johanna Keller, director of the Goldring Arts Journalism Program and associate professor in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications; Inge O’Connor, assistant professor of economics in The College of Arts and Sciences and the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs; and Kathleen O’Connor, legal writing professor in the College of Law.
Also at the April 21 reception, Kendall Phillips, associate professor of communication and rhetorical studies in the College of Visual and Performing Arts, will receive the 2008 University Scholar/Teacher of the Year award.
The Teaching Recognition Awards program was established in 2001 through an expansion of the Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professorship Program. The Meredith Professors themselves proposed that the Teaching Recognition Award program recognize excellence in teaching by non-tenured faculty and adjunct and part-time instructors. Recipients are selected for teaching innovation, effectiveness in communicating with students, and the lasting value of courses.
To be eligible, candidates must have completed two years of service to the University and not yet received tenure. Each recipient is given $3,000 to further his or her professional development.
Theo Cateforis Cateforis joined SU in fall 2005. His teaching and research interests include American music, popular music studies and 20th-century art music. Cateforis teaches many large classes on different genres of music and requires a lot of critical writing from his students, including journals, reflection papers and term papers, which he reviews and grades without the aid of teaching assistants or graders.
His music courses, such as his popular “History of Rock” class, draw students from majors throughout the University. In all of his classes, he emphasizes the basic concepts of music appreciation and history from a liberal arts context, requiring his students to research additional readings and historical source documents from fields such as feminist theory, cultural studies, sociology, media and communication studies, African American studies and other areas.
Cateforis recently edited a chronological anthology on the study of rock music, “The Rock History Reader” (Routledge, 2006), and is also a faculty member of the Goldring Arts Journalism Program in the Newhouse School.
Julie Causton-TheoharisCauston-Theoharis teaches in the inclusive and special education program in the Department of Teaching and Leadership. Her teaching, research and consulting are guided by a passion for inclusive education. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on including students who have traditionally been marginalized in school settings and creating student-centered classrooms through differentiation, curricular adaptations and universal design of curriculum and instruction.
She also has taught special education in diverse and inclusive educational settings at the elementary, middle and high school levels. Causton-Theoharis’ research and writing focus on best practices in inclusive education, particularly lesson planning for inclusive settings, maximizing interaction through paraprofessional support, inclusive education as social justice and inclusive teacher training programs. Her published works have appeared in such journals as Exceptional Children and Teaching Exceptional Children.
Roger Hallas Hallas teaches courses in film studies, analysis, history and theory ranging from “Introduction to Film,” to “World Cinema,” to “The Idea of the Documentary,” as well as graduate surveys and seminars in film theory. Hallas focuses on teaching his students the critical skills that will be useful to them beyond the frame of cinema, helping to instill critical understandings of the power and function of images in the contemporary world.
In addition to his film instruction, Hallas notably plays a large role in the development of the teaching assistants in the English department and had a substantial role in developing the department’s TA training guidelines. In the Fall 2007 semester, Hallas increased the enrollment of his “Interpretation of Film” class and undertook the supervision of five TAs in conjunction with the course. To ensure sufficient mentoring and pedagogical consistency for the students taking the course, Hallas ran weekly meetings with the TAs and throughout the semester provided extensive observation, feedback and support.
Johanna KellerKeller teaches writing and communications at the Newhouse School, directs the Goldring Arts Journalism Program, and is a core faculty member of the Renee Crown University Honors Program. As a teacher, adviser, mentor, journalist and scholar, Keller is recognized for staying current of the topics she teaches, which can in part be attributed to remaining an active journalist for arts and cultural topics.
Most notably, Keller is recognized for her development and teaching of the Goldring Arts Journalism curriculum at SU. The Goldring Arts Journalism Program was founded in 2005 as the first master’s degree option at an accredited journalism school that focuses exclusively on writing about the arts, with the aim to deepen arts journalists’ knowledge of specific art forms while building writing and journalism skills. Keller developed arts journalism classes that maintain a very high degree of interaction with the Syracuse arts and cultural community; active community engagement is a major theme throughout the one-year Goldring Program.
In the classroom, she requires that her students’ course writing meet professional standards of journalism and pushes her students to publish their writings in local and national media publications. In 2007, she was nominated by the Goldring arts journalism students and received the Excellence in Graduate Education Faculty Recognition Award, a high honor at SU that recognizes exceptional dedication to graduate students both through teaching and mentoring.
Inge O’Connor O’Connor began teaching at SU while receiving her Ph.D. in economics from the Maxwell School. As part of the Ph.D. program, O’Connor served as a teaching assistant in the economics department and was subsequently presented with the Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award, given annually to only the top 4 percent of all TAs campus-wide. O’Connor went on to earn a Certificate in University Teaching through the Future Professoriate Program at SU.
Throughout the past 15 years of her teaching experience, O’Connor has taught some of the most challenging courses in economics and is recognized for her ability to organize and communicate complex ideas and engage students in course material by using relevant, real-word examples of economic principles.
This semester, O’Connor developed a new course that she is teaching, “The Economics of Social Issues,” which is designed to show students that with the knowledge of introductory economics they can enhance their understanding of national topics such as poverty, crime, healthcare, the environment and other issues facing society.
Kathleen O’ConnorBefore joining the College of Law in 2002, O’Connor practiced criminal, commercial and civil litigation, and served as assistant U.S. attorney for the criminal division at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of New York. Drawing upon this extensive legal experience, today, O’Connor is a member of the Legal Writing Faculty in the College of Law, providing innovative curricula for mandatory legal research and writing courses. She also served as acting director of legal communication and research during the Fall 2007 semester.
The course work she teaches focuses on the lawyering skills of legal reasoning, analysis, writing, advocacy and intensive legal research. As part of her instructional innovation, O’Connor developed perhaps the only course in the country teaching legal writing from the perspective of prosecutors and criminal defense attorneys, uniquely and effectively transforming the traditional required course focused on legal research and communication skills.
O’Connor also routinely attends legal teaching workshops and conferences throughout the country in order to develop the legal writing instruction that best meets the needs of the profession.
Kendall Phillips — University Scholar/Teacher of the YearPhillips joined VPA’s Department of Communications and Rhetorical Studies in 1999 and has since been recognized with several awards that highlight the quality of his teaching, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
Phillips is a leading scholar of rhetoric, public discourse and rhetoric of popular culture. He explores these concepts through a variety of rhetorical artifacts, including comic books, film, political speeches and scientific controversies, and teaches such popular courses as “The Rhetoric of Film,” “Rhetoric and the Public Sphere” and “The Rhetoric of Popular Culture.”
Early in his SU career, Phillips served as the coordinator of the department’s graduate program and initiated a sustained effort to strengthen the master’s program through greater recruiting and curriculum development. Today, Phillips serves as the chair of the department, elected in 2007 for a three-year term.
Phillips is actively engaged in the Central New York Humanities Corridor that promotes collaborative scholarly exchange in the humanities among faculty and students from SU, Cornell University and the University of Rochester. He also helps students become active in the Syracuse community, most notably by leading SU students in a community-based public memory project with residents of the former 15th Ward in Syracuse. This project, begun in 2007, aims to engage students and the University in an effort that makes more visible the history of this African American community prior to its segmentation and dispersion several decades ago.