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Northwestern University

Celebrating Great Teaching

Twelve College professors and graduate students are honored for their excellence in the classroom

By Daniel P. Smith

Continuing an annual tradition that celebrates high-quality teaching, the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences recognized 12 faculty members and graduate students May 31 for their excellence as undergraduate teachers.

Christina Normore, an associate professor of art history, was the most senior of the tenure-line faculty to be recognized this year with a Distinguished Teaching Award, and therefore received the E. LeRoy Hall Award in recognition of that honor. Two additional Distinguished Teaching Awards were bestowed on assistant professors Caitlin Fitz and Sadie Wignall.

Three members of the teaching-track faculty — Santiago Cañez, James Hornsten and Raquel Amorese — were also honored for outstanding teaching. The trio received Arts and Sciences Alumni Teaching Awards. 

The Award for Excellence in Mentoring in Undergraduate Research, meanwhile, was awarded to associate professor Masaya Yoshida. The award recognizes a faculty member who exhibited particular skills in and dedication to mentoring undergraduate students engaged in research.

The College also recognized graduate students who excelled as teaching assistants.

Here is the full list of 2017 winners, as voted on by the Weinberg College Committee on Teaching Awards.

E. LeRoy Hall Award for Excellence in Teaching
Christina Normore, associate professor of art history

A Northwestern University faculty member since 2010, Normore researches and teaches medieval art, with an emphasis on 14th- and 15th-century northwestern Europe. She has taught a diverse array of courses ranging from a first-year seminar on chivalry to upper-division undergraduate lectures on topics such as Gothic art and Byzantine art.

Weinberg College Distinguished Teaching Awards
Sadie Wignall, assistant professor of molecular biosciences

Wignall focuses her research on the mechanisms of spindle assembly and chromosome segregation during oocyte meiosis, an important yet poorly understood type of cell division. She joined the Northwestern faculty in 2011.

Caitlin Fitz, assistant professor of history

Fitz’s history courses explore American history through 1865, while her research investigates early U.S. engagement with foreign communities and cultures, as well as the relationship between ordinary people and formal politics. A recipient of fellowships from the Fulbright Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Fitz joined the Northwestern faculty in 2011.

Arts and Sciences Alumni Teaching Awards
Santiago Cañez, assistant professor of mathematics

The director of the Mathematical Experience for Northwestern Undergraduates (MENU), the University’s honors program in mathematics, Cañez has taught a range of mathematics courses since his 2012 arrival at Northwestern. He has previously been named to the Associated Student Government Faculty Honor Roll and also received the Departmental Excellence in Teaching Award.

James Hornsten, associate professor of economics

Hornsten, who earned both his M.A. and Ph.D. in economics from Northwestern, has a special interest in teaching industrial economics, business and government, microeconomics and first-year writing seminars on current regulatory issues. A Northwestern faculty member since 2008, he has earned multiple appearances on the Associated Student Government Faculty Honor Roll.

Raquel Amorese, assistant professor of Spanish and Portuguese

In addition to teaching a range of introductory and intermediate Spanish courses, Amorese’s research interests include second-language acquisition and Latin American literature, including a particular focus on the 20th-century works of female authors.

Weinberg College Awards for Excellence in Mentoring Undergraduate Research
Masaya Yoshida, associate professor of linguistics

Attempting to integrate work in theoretical and typological syntax and experimental psycholinguistics, Yoshida’s work focuses on aspects of syntactic representations both in static knowledge of language and in real-time sentence processing.

Weinberg College Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Awards
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