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Trilling and Van Doren Awards Ceremony

Wednesday, May 8, 2013 - 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Columbia University Morningside Campus Faculty Room, Low Library

The Columbia College Academic Awards Committee has announced the winners of the 2013 Mark Van Doren Award for Teaching and Lionel Trilling Book Award. The honorees are selected annually by a student committee to honor faculty members for their contributions in the classroom and in print. The awards will be presented at a ceremony in Low Library on May 8, 2013.

Nicholas Dames, Theodore Kahan Professor of Humanities and chair of the Department of English and Comparative Literature, will be presented with the 2013 Mark Van Doren Award for excellence in teaching. Boris Gasparov, professor of Slavic Languages, will receive the 2013 Lionel Trilling Book Award for his book, Beyond Pure Reason: Ferdinand de Saussures Philosophy of Language and Its Early Romantic Antecedents.

The Mark Van Doren Award for Teaching has been awarded each year since 1962 in recognition of a faculty members humanity, devotion to truth and inspiring leadership. The award was established in honor of Mark Van Doren GSAS 21, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, novelist, playwright, critic, editor and biographer, as well as a renowned scholar and legendary teacher who inspired generations of Columbia students.

The Lionel Trilling Book Award is given to a member of Columbias faculty whose book was published in the previous year and upholds a level of excellence commensurate with the work of Lionel Trilling CC 25, GSAS 26, GSAS 38. The award was established in 1976 in honor of Professor Trilling, a gifted and dedicated teacher who was deeply committed to undergraduate education, as well as a public intellectual known nationally for his scholarship and literary criticism, which appealed to a wide-audience.

The Columbia College Academic Awards Committee is responsible for awarding the Van Doren and Trilling awards each year. Committee members are selected by the co-chairs through applications at the start of every academic year so that the group of 15 to 25 students represents a cross-section of classes and majors in the College. The committee seeks nominations for the Van Doren and Trilling awards and committee members audit the classes of Van Doren nominees, read books under consideration for the Trilling award and have lively, informed and fulfilling discussions before deciding on two finalists. The committee bases its decision on criteria including: Is the material clearly explained? Does the faculty member demonstrate a passion for the material? Is he or she involved with students outside of the classroom? Every May, the committee hosts an awards ceremony to honor the chosen professors and their work, celebrate faculty-student connections and inform the community about the! process of selecting winners. Co-chairs are selected amongst continuing students in the committee for the following year.

The winners will be honored at an awards ceremony that will take place from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 8, 2013, in Faculty Room, Low Library. Students, faculty, members of the Columbia administration, and family and friends are welcome to attend.