University of Rochester

Rochester Review
November–December 2013
Vol. 76, No. 2

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Three Faculty members from Arts, Sciences & Engineering received 2013 Goergen Awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching this fall. Named for and sponsored by Robert Goergen ’60, a University trustee and former board chairman, and his wife, Pamela, the awards recognize faculty for their contributions to undergraduate education. As part of the nomination process, current and former students are invited to submit letters describing their teachers and their influence on their lives. Here’s a sample of what a few had to say.

Bonnie Meguid

goergenBonnie Meguid (Photo: Adam Fenster)

An associate professor of political science, Meguid focuses on comparative politics, ethnic politics, political parties, elections, and voting.

“What is most distinctive about Professor Meguid’s teaching style and classroom experience is her passion. Her love for the issues she teaches makes such a difference; it makes learning so much more enjoyable.”

Alisa Jimenez ’14

“[She] is a wonderful teacher, truly a gem of academia. She is energetic, informative, creative, and quick—all aspects that not only make her a great teacher, but a fun one.”

Benjamin Walsh ’16

“Three days before the final exam, I went into her office, hoping to get a little guidance and reassurance. . . . [She] showed a level of faith in me that I couldn’t find in myself. She helped me to understand that I was doing everything I was supposed to be doing to hone and cultivate my interests.”

Claire Webster ’16

Anne Meredith

goergenAnne Meredith (Photo: Adam Fenster)

A senior lecturer in religion, Meredith teaches courses on religion and classics, women’s studies, and Jewish studies.

“Professor Meredith is very engaging and caring and one of the best professors I have had. . . . She is able to condense vast amounts of complicated information so that it fits within the confines of the course, and she is easily accessible to her students.”

Kassandra Viers ’14

“Professor Meredith prompted me to begin considering my undergraduate writing and research as an authentic academic contribution. Her teaching and mentoring continue to serve as a model in my own practice.”

Jeremy Schott ’99, who is now an associate professor of religious studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte

“Professor Meredith . . . taught me how to think and write in an academic manner, to pursue outside interests, to never stop asking questions, and to voice and express my opinions.”

Claudia Shapiro ’12

John Michael

goergenJohn Michael (Photo: Adam Fenster)

A professor of English and visual and cultural studies, Michael has research interests in literature, film, politics, American identity, and history.

“[Professor Michael] gave me the clearest picture of what it would mean to be a humanities scholar, and why such a pursuit was interesting and important. While teaching me about the past of intellectual thought, he made me want to shape its future, and prepared me to do so.”

Laurel Raymond ’13

“I have crystal-clear memory of my building excitement as [a] new horizon of ideas opened before me, and the contrast of my own intense reaction to Professor Michael’s relaxed, off-the-cuff delivery. He was the picture of ease; he was having fun; and he invited us into the serious play of intellection. I felt welcomed, tempted—dared, even—by his implicit question: you want to spend the rest of your life thinking about some insoluble tension in human culture? Try this on for size.

Carl Adair ’08

“His remarkable ability to challenge and engage his students while sincerely valuing what they have to contribute cultivated a classroom atmosphere unlike any I had experienced. Never have I felt so validated and respected as a student. In fact, it was in Professor Michael’s course that I first began to truly think of myself as a scholar.”

Analise Baird ’13