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Five Columbia Professors Receive Presidential Awards for Excellence in Teaching

Kathy H. Eden

During the 2002 Columbia Commencement ceremony on May 22, five professors received the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Teaching: Kathy H. Eden, Mark Van Doren Professor of Humanities and Professor of Classics in the departments of English and comparative literature and of classics; Sigvard G. Gissler, associate professor of journalism; Thomas J. Katz, professor of chemistry; Archie Rand, professor of visual arts, and Gerald E. Thomson, Lambert Professor of Medicine and Robert Sonneborn Professor of Medicine.

Established in 1996, the presidential awards honor the best of Columbia's teachers for the influence they have had on the development of their students and their part in maintaining the University's longstanding reputation for educational excellence. Winners were given a certificate and citation describing their teaching accomplishments, as well as a $5,000 honorarium.

Kathy H. Eden began teaching at Columbia in 1980 and is currently the chair of Literature Humanities. She was a winner of the 2001 Award for Distinguished Service to the Core Curriculum (for displaying special commitment to Columbia's Core Curriculum), the 2001 Mark Van Doren Award for Distinguished Teaching from Columbia College and the 1998 Great Teacher Award from the Society of Columbia Graduates. In 1998-1999 Eden was a Guggenheim Fellow.

Eden is the author of three books: "Poetic and Legal Fiction in the Aristotelian Tradition" (Princeton, 1986), "Hermeneutics and the Rhetorical Tradition: Chapters in the Ancient Legacy and its Humanist Reception" (New Haven, 1997) and "Friends Hold All Things in Common: Tradition, Intellectual Property and the Adages of Erasmus" (New Haven, 2001).

Sigvard G. Gissler

Sigvard G. Gissler, associate professor of journalism for eight years, has been named the new Pulitzer Prize Administrator, effective July 1, 2002. Gissler has taught reporting and writing at Columbia and founded the Columbia Workshops on Journalism, Race and Ethnicity. He was a Professional Journalism Fellow at Stanford (1974-1975) and a Senior Fellow at the Freedom Forum's Media Studies Center (1993-1994).

Gissler is a former editor of the Milwaukee Journal. During his newspaper career, he worked as a reporter, editorial writer, editor and management executive.

Thomas J. Katz

Organic chemist Thomas J. Katz began his career as an instructor at Columbia in 1959. He has been awarded an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship (1962-1966) and a Guggenheim Fellowship (1967-1968). He was named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (1993) and was awarded an American Chemical Society's Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award (1995).

Katz pioneered the use of metals as catalysts to bring about syntheses of complex organic structures and has devised methods to show how the metals carry out their work. He has published more than 140 research papers in peer-reviewed journals.

Archie Rand

Painter and professor of visual arts Archie Rand has had more than 80 solo exhibitions and his work has been included in more than 200 group exhibitions. His drawings and paintings are represented in major museum collections, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art and The Victoria and Albert Museum in London. This spring his collaborative works were on view in New York at the Dactyl Foundation and Metro Pictures Gallery.

In 1999 Rand was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, elected a Director of the National Board of the College Art Association and received the Jewish Cultural Achievement Award in the Arts. Rand expanded notions of Jewish art in the 1970s when he painted the monumental 13,000 square foot interior of B'nai Yosef synagogue in Brooklyn, which remains the only completely muraled synagogue in the world.

Gerald E. Thomson

Gerald E. Thomson joined the Columbia faculty in 1970, becoming executive vice president and chief of staff of Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in 1985. In 1995 Thomson was elected president of the American College of Physicians, the first African-American to hold this position. Also in 1990 he was the first African-American to become chairman of the American Board of Internal Medicine. In 1986 he helped found -- and later became president of -- the Association of Academic Minority Physicians. In that year he also received the "Outstanding Teacher" award from the College of Physicians and Surgeons.

In addition to the five faculty winners, three graduate students were honored for their teaching accomplishments -- Tara E. Brendle, Department of Mathematics; Joseph C. McAlhany, Department of Classics, and Sophia Yinchee Wong, Department of Philosophy. These students received a certificate, citation and $2,500 honorarium.

Published: Jun 06, 2002
Last modified: Sep 18, 2002

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