Faculty who inspire students honored with UChicago teaching awards (Center researcher awarded)

by UChicago News

The transformative education that students experience at the University of Chicago begins in the classroom with the teachers who inspire them.

The University annually recognizes faculty for exceptional teaching and mentoring with the Llewellyn John and Harriet Manchester Quantrell Awards, believed to be the nation’s oldest prize for undergraduate teaching, and the Faculty Awards for Excellence in Graduate Teaching and Mentoring, which honor faculty for their work with graduate students. See the award recipients below:

Quantrell Award recipients

Prof. Albert Bendelac

Assoc. Prof. Claudia Brittenham

Prof. Berthold Hoeckner

Assoc. Prof. Maryanthe Malliaris

Prof. Mauricio Tenorio-Trillo

Graduate Teaching Award recipients

Prof. Wayne Hu

Prof. Steven Lalley

Assoc. Prof. Rochona Majumdar

Prof. Jennifer Pitts

Prof. Larry Zbikowski

Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching

Berthold Hoeckner, Professor of Music and the Humanities in the College

It’s no coincidence that music historian Berthold Hoeckner views his classroom as a theatrical space.

“At first, I’m the playwright, director and actor, and the students are the audience. At the end of the quarter, they start teaching each other, and I’m in the audience,” said Hoeckner, who drew inspiration for his classroom model from Chicago Booth Prof. Harry L. Davis.

Hoeckner researches how complex artwork such as film and opera create meaning, and how that meaning is meaningful in people’s lives. He brings this approach to life in “Listening to Movies,” a new Humanities course popular with undergraduates from across disciplines interested in how sound and music contribute to cinematic storytelling.

“Students are very good at noticing things, so they really appreciate a deeper understanding of what they see and hear,” said Hoeckner, who has taught at UChicago for 25 years. “What you see, hear and feel become part of how we apprehend the world and are absolutely crucial in influencing the choices we make. It’s part of what I would call the ‘education of the senses.’”

Hoeckner enjoys helping students grow and develop, and said in each class he always happens to learn something from his students. “It happens even when I’m teaching topics that I know really well. A student offers an insight that would have never occurred to me. I love those moments.”

Read more about this year’s winners and their distinct approaches in the classroom here!



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