Springfield, Ohio -Amy Livingstone, H. Orth Hirt Professor of History and director of the Honors Program at Wittenberg University, was presented the CARA Award for Excellence in Teaching Medieval Studies by the Medieval Academy of America (MAA), the world's oldest and largest organization of medievalists supporting research and teaching in all aspects of medieval civilization.
"I am profoundly moved by receiving this award and struggle to find the words to say how much it means to me," said Livingstone, who has taught at Wittenberg since 1999. She also serves as a representative for the Midwest Medieval History Conference to the Committee for the Centers and Regional Associations for the MAA and will serve as councillor through 2019.
The award recognizes members who are outstanding teachers and who have contributed to the profession by inspiring students at the undergraduate or graduate levels or by creating innovative and influential textbooks or other materials for teaching medieval subjects. The award also recognizes excellence in the wide variety of teaching that medieval scholars practice, from formal classroom teaching in a college or university setting, to in-depth seminars and graduate mentoring, to online teaching, summer institutes and academic publications devoted to the pedagogy of medieval studies.
It was presented to Livingstone at the annual meeting of the Medieval Academy in Toronto, Canada, in April. No one from Wittenberg has ever won the award.
"Like my colleagues here at Wittenberg, I pour my soul into my teaching," Livingstone said. "To have my teaching recognized by an international association of fellow medieval scholars is gratifying and humbling, as many of the previous recipients of this award were extremely gifted teachers and scholars."
After being notified about this distinction, Livingstone was sent the dossier that her colleague, Philip Adamo of Augsburg College, had assembled.
"I was deeply moved by what my colleagues and students had to say about my teaching," she added. "While I interact with students daily, as a teacher you never really know what impact you've had on your students. To realize how much they gained from my classes and how much my work with them made an impact, was extremely affirming and gratifying."
Last fall, Adamo, whom Livingstone nominated for the same award a couple of years ago, nominated her. He then began collecting Livingstone's teaching materials, wrote a letter, and solicited input from her former students to be submitted to the awards committee.
"This award reflects the quality of Amy's teaching at Wittenberg and her contribution as a mentor for students seeking professional careers in medieval studies," said Mary Jo Zembar, professor of psychology and interim provost at Wittenberg. "Her nomination for this award was made by several of her colleagues and students, and was adjudicated by the CARA Award for Excellence in Teaching Committee."
Incorporated in December of 1925, the MAA consists of more than 3,500 members worldwide and offers numerous fellowships and awards and sponsors conferences and the quarterly journal Speculum.
"I am extremely grateful to have the students and colleagues that I do, for they support me to do the work that I do - both in and out of the classroom," Livingstone said. "Winning this award also affirmed why I became a professor in the first place. I have a passion for medieval history, and being able to share that with students, getting them interested in a period of history they might not otherwise study, is a privilege."
According to the MAA website, the organization promotes excellence in the field of medieval studies and is based in Cambridge, Mass. The academy awards prizes, grants and fellowships such as the Haskins Medal, which is named for Charles Homer Haskins, one of the founders of the Medieval Academy and its second president. The Medieval Academy supports research, publication and teaching in medieval art, archaeology, history, law, literature, music, philosophy, religion, science, social and economic institutions, and all other aspects of the Middle Ages.