the Olin Professor of American Studies and English, was one of three faculty
members to receive the Binswanger Prize for Excellence in Teaching by
President Doug Bennet during Commencement Ceremonies May 27.
3 Faculty Awarded for Excellence in Teaching
Joyce Jacobsen, the Andrews Professor of
Economics; Richard Slotkin, the Olin Professor of American Studies and
English; and T. David Westmoreland, associate professor of chemistry were
the 2007 recipients of the Binswanger Prize for Excellence in Teaching. They
received the prize during the 2007 Commencement ceremony May 27.
The Binswanger Prize for Excellence in Teaching was inaugurated in 1993 as
an institutional recognition of outstanding faculty members. One to three
Binswanger Prizes for Excellence in Teaching are presented each year and are
made possible by the generosity of the Binswanger family that counts
numerous Wesleyan alumni, alumnae and parents in its ranks.
The standards and criteria for the annual prizes include excellence in
teaching as exemplified by commitment to the classroom and student
accomplishment, intellectual demands placed on students, lucidity, and
Recipients are chosen by a selection committee of emeriti, current faculty
members and appointed members of the Alumni Association's Executive
Committee. Recommendations are solicited from members of the last ten
graduating classes, the current junior and senior classes, and current
graduate students. Recommendations are based on any of the types of teaching
that are done at the University including, but not limited to: teaching in
lecture courses, seminars, laboratories, creative and performance-based
courses, research tutorials and other individual and group tutorials at the
undergraduate and graduate level.
Each recipient receives a citation and monetary prize made possible by the
generosity of the Binswanger family. Previous recipients are excluded from
consideration for seven years.
The credentials of this year’s honorees are extensive. Briefly:
Joyce Jacobsen joined the Wesleyan faculty in 1993. She received an
A.B. in economics from Harvard University, a M.Sc. in economics from London
School of Economics, and a Ph.D. in economics from Stanford University. Her
main research interest is gender and racial/ethnic differences in employment
and earnings patterns. Professor Jacobsen teaches courses on economics of
gender, urban economics, econometrics, and microeconomic theory, and serves
often as the CSS economics sophomore tutor.
Her books include The Economics of Gender (2007), Labor Markets
and Employment Relationships (with Professor Gil Skillman, 2004), and a
forthcoming reader on Queer Economics, co-edited with Adam Zeller ’00
(2007). She is the author of numerous book chapters and articles that have
appeared in such publications as the Journal of Income Distribution, the
European Economic Review, and the Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance.
She is the editor of Eastern Economic Journal and the associate editor of
Richard Slotkin joined the Wesleyan faculty in 1966. He developed the
American Studies Program and chaired it for 20 years, and also has been a
major contributor to the development of film studies at the University. This
is Slotkin's second time receiving the award.
His latest book is Lost Battalions: The Great War and the Crisis of
American Nationality (2005), the story of two World War I regiments: the
African-American “Harlem Hell Fighters” and the “Lost Battalion” of the 77th
Division, raised from the immigrant peoples of New York’s tenements, who
fought heroically for a country which refused to recognize them as equal
citizens. He is best known for an award-winning trilogy of scholarly books
on the myth of the frontier in American cultural history. Regeneration
Through Violence: The Mythology of the American Frontier, 1600–1860
(1973) was a finalist for the 1974 National Book Award and received the 1973
Albert J. Beveridge Award of the American Historical Association. The second
volume, The Fatal Environment: The Myth of the Frontier in the Age of
Industrialization, 1800–1890 (1985) received the literary award of the
Little Big Horn Associates, and has become a standard reference in the field
of American studies. The final volume, Gunfighter Nation: The Myth of the
Frontier in Twentieth-Century America (1992) was a finalist for the 1993
National Book Award. Slotkin also has written three historical novels:
Abe: A Novel of the Young Lincoln (2000), which received the Michael
Shaara Award for Civil War Fiction (2001) and the Salon.com Book Award
(2000); The Return of Henry Starr (1988); and The Crater
In 1995 he received the Mary C. Turpie Award from the American Studies
Association, for his contributions to teaching and program-building. He also
received Wesleyan’s Binswanger Prize for Excellence in Teaching in 1997.
T. David Westmoreland received a B.S. degree from the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. from University of North Carolina,
Chapel Hill. Before joining the Wesleyan faculty in 1989, he held
postdoctoral appointments at Stanford University and the University of
California, Berkeley. His research interests are concentrated in the area of
inorganic chemistry. He and his research group are particularly interested
in the functions of metal ions in biological systems. His research
publications have spanned a number of topics in this area, from the
relationship between electronic structure and spectroscopic features of
molybdenum-containing oxidoreductase enzymes, to new manganese and
chromium-based contrast agents for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In
addition, his work includes exploring fundamental aspects of atom transfer
reactions that are related to biological and industrial oxidation processes.
His work has appeared in The Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry, Inorganic
Chemistry, and Organometallics.
Professor Westmoreland teaches introductory general chemistry as well as
advanced courses on inorganic chemistry and on chemical applications of
symmetry concepts. He also has taught general education courses on pattern
formation in nature and on scientific research ethics. He has been a
research mentor to 24 Wesleyan undergraduates and six graduate students over
Photo by Bill Burkhart, university photographer.