October 16, 2018
On Campus

Teaching Excellence Honored

Two Faculty Members Receive Awards

Wittenberg’s Faculty Development Board (FDB) recently announced the winners of the 2018 Collegium Award for Excellence and Innovation in Teaching and the Provost’s Award for Outstanding Teaching.

Cynthia Richards, professor of English, received the Collegium Award for Excellence and Innovation in Teaching and Sha’Dawn Battle, assistant professor of English, was awarded the Provost’s Award for Outstanding Teaching.Richards_2.jpg

The Collegium Award for Excellence and Innovation in Teaching is the only teaching award at Wittenberg that is awarded by the faculty itself.

Richards said she realized early in her career “that to stay good at my job I was going to have to continue to grow and stay innovative in my approach… I needed to model for my students intellectual risk-taking by taking a risk on new themes and approaches myself.” She is described by colleagues as an engaging instructor who challenges students of all levels to “push beyond what they thought possible in themselves,” and she achieves this with innovative assignments and “clear, concise formalization of the inputs and outputs” that enable even her beginning students to succeed at complex tasks.

Richards has also been honored with Wittenberg’s Omicron Delta Teaching Award, a Fulbright Teaching Award, the Lawrence Ruff Chair of 18th-Century Studies at the University of Dayton (2016), and the American Society for 18th-Century Innovative Teaching Award.

The Provost’s Award for Outstanding Teaching recognizes the highest level of teaching excellence by a visiting or adjunct faculty member at Wittenberg University.Battle.jpg

Battle believes her “job is to facilitate discussions that enable this kind of critical reflection…and the conversations are often uncomfortable. But discomfort is a tell-tale sign of effective pedagogy.” Her impact has been felt beyond her classroom’s walls as she has been involved in extracurricular organizations, including serving as advisor for a new student group, Shades of Pearl, and helping students to earn the NCAA Div. III Diversity Spotlight Initiative Award in 2015. Her department chair says she has “rarely heard undergraduates so able to move seamlessly between theory and literary texts and criticism.”

“These awards give us the opportunity to recognize and celebrate our peers’ efforts and accomplishments,” said Justin Houseknecht, associate professor and chair of the chemistry department who is serving as interim FDB administrator. “The FDB extends its appreciation to all the faculty who nominated peers and to all of the finalists, who submitted truly inspiring portfolios for review.”

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About Wittenberg

Wittenberg's curriculum has centered on the liberal arts as an education that develops the individual's capacity to think, read, and communicate with precision, understanding, and imagination. We are dedicated to active, engaged learning in the core disciplines of the arts and sciences and in pre-professional education grounded in the liberal arts. Known for the quality of our faculty and their teaching, Wittenberg has more Ohio Professors of the Year than any four-year institution in the state. The university has also been recognized nationally for excellence in community service, sustainability, and intercollegiate athletics. Located among the beautiful rolling hills and hollows of Springfield, Ohio, Wittenberg offers more than 100 majors, minors and special programs, enviable student-faculty research opportunities, a unique student success center, service and study options close to home and abroad, a stellar athletics tradition, and successful career preparation.

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