Teaching Awards Recognize Greatness at Columbia

Photograph: Outstanding professors: Tayler, Shenton, Chase, Blaer and Barolini. Photo Credit: Joe Pineiro.

Citations were delivered to the five recipients of this year's Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching:

Allan S. Blaer, director of undergraduate studies in the physics department since 1985: "Inspired generations of beginning students with the breadth and beauty of physical law and the thrill of fresh insights into the workings of nature."

Edward W. Tayler, department of English and comparative literature: "An educational innovator, revered classroom teacher, and devoted mentor to both undergraduate and graduate students. Your students call you magical, learned and passionate, tough yet tender, witty, humane, wholly unique. Many report that you have changed their lives."

Herbert Chase Jr., department of medicine: "Has had a profoundly beneficial influence on medical education at Columbia. Your classroom instruction and hospital bedside teaching are characterized by a rare combination of intellectual rigor, warmth, openness, and interactive skills that have earned you recognition for exceptional teaching."

James P. Shenton, department of history: "After arduous service as a combat medic on the battlefields of western Europe, you entered Columbia in 1946. Your dedication to your students, in and out of the classroom, has become legendary. Your dynamic lecturing style, vividly bringing the past to life, is never forgotten by its lucky beneficiaries. Ultimately, your greatness as a teacher rests on the deep moral commitment you bring to the study of history.

Teodolinda Barolini, department of Italian: "You are recognized as one of the finest in a new generation of scholars of medieval Italian literature. Your students praise your profound knowledge, your warmth, and your devotion to guiding their work and intellectual development. Many call you the most inspiring professor they have had at Columbia."

Columbia University Record -- May 24, 1996 -- Vol. 21, No. 28