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2019 Goergen Teaching Award Winners


[Matthew BaileyShea] “Every time you are writing your
counterpoint and you’re writing chord progressions, you’re going to be having
to be thoughtful about how do I want to do this?” I guess the way I would describe
my teaching style is that I believe very much in an active classroom. I think it’s
really important to try as much as possible to get students involved. [Katherine Schaefer] “You
have to be able to talk about yourself in a way that is clear, concise, and
relevant.” I strongly believe that my students can achieve what I’ve asked
them to and it is my job to figure out how to coach and offer support and
figure out what the barriers are if at all possible, and remove them where I can.
[Ryan Prendergast] “Look at the the difference and how, the choices for how they represent him.” My
philosophy is that we should give students as much input to give them
tools to be able to then produce knowledge on their own. [BaileyShea] It’s important to
make connections with students, to make sure that they’re engaged in the
material. The main goal for me is to play music that I find exciting, to try my
best to try and get them interested in it so that hopefully when they leave the
classroom, they’re interested in studying it and looking into it on their own. [Schaefer] I
started out in RNA biochemistry and then I was doing basic immunology and then I
was doing medical immunology. Like most scientists who write, I learned by doing.
In 2009, I was starting to explore what else I might want to do and the Writing,
Speaking, and Argument program offered me an adjunct position teaching first year
composition. And in 2010 they offered me a full-time position. I see my teaching
style is personal. It’s a conversation. Even if I’ve got a hundred people I will
be trying to figure out how in some way to make that a conversation with most
students. [Prendergast] The courses I teach focus on the the literary and cultural production
of what we call early modern Spain. It’s important I think for students to see
the artifacts if you will. Students they actually get to touch some things act
that is from hundreds of years ago, which is something I appreciate about our Rare
Books department. One of the things I’ve tried to make an effort to do in a
more conscious way is to show the points of contact with contemporary
society. Dealing with issues of race, religion, identity, social class. [BaileyShea] Teaching takes a lot of time and a lot of effort and it’s nice that it’s
something that people value here and that there is something like this award
here to to reward people for putting in all of that effort. [Shaefer] There’s just such a
community here sharing, teaching, and learning from each other, and I see this
award as holding up the value of that. [Prendergast] That both colleagues and students would
feel that one was deserving of a recognition at this level is very
gratifying. I think it acts as motivation for me to try to continue to be as good
a teacher as I can be.

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