Awards & Milestones

Columbia University’s inaugural Global Freedom of Expression Prizes were awarded on March 11 to the Constitutional Court of Turkey, the Constitutional Court of Zimbabwe and the Media Legal Defence Initiative (MLDI).

Great teachers are passionate about the classroom, as evidenced by the 11 faculty members honored this year with Lenfest Distinguished Teaching Awards. Some were nominated by their students, others by their fellow professors or department chairs.

A number of years ago, a student reviewing a class taught by Dorothea von Mücke summed up how the professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures taught the course Literature Humanities this way: “Professor von Mücke refuse

As an undergraduate at Purdue University, Brad Garton majored in pharmacy because “growing up in the Midwest, being a musician wasn’t a legitimate job.”

Columbia’s urban setting is central to Rebecca Kobrin’s teaching and research.

Stathis Gourgouris, a professor of classics, English and comparative literature who directs the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society, believes that antiquity has relevance to contemporary life. In the classroom he strives to make connections across centuries and regions.  

Asked what makes a good teacher or good student, Molly Murray (CC’94) responds simply, “Curiosity … an openness to new ideas and a willingness to follow them where they lead, into the library or out of it.” She also takes the word “curiosity” back to its Latin root, cura or “care,” and add

For Souleymane Bachir Diagne, a professor of French and philosophy, teaching is about finding the right balance in the classroom.

Patricia Dailey, an associate professor of English and comparative literature, specializes in medieval literature and critical theory, adapting her teaching style to individual classes.

Whether she’s teaching an advanced graduate seminar or a beginning undergraduate class, Carol Rovane wants her students to start thinking like philosophers.

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