Three professors earn Bingham Awards for quality in the classroom
Three Transylvania professors have earned Bingham Awards for Excellence in Teaching in recognition of their outstanding work in the classroom. The award includes annual salary supplements for five years. A committee of outside educators selects the award winners based on classroom visits, essays from the candidates, and student evaluations.
Art history professor Wei Lin has been at Transylvania since 2006. She came to Lexington from The Ohio State University, where she taught and earned a Ph.D. in art history. She also holds a bachelor of arts in archaeology from Nanjing University and a master’s degree in archaeology from Beijing University. Her research interests include typology and periodization of the Tang Dynasty and the Buddhist caves at Qixia Mountain.
“When teaching the history of art, I see myself as a guide leading students along a path of learning,” she said. “The core of my teaching philosophy is to convey my enthusiasm for the subject, to share my knowledge and experience, and to encourage students’ participation and involvement in what they are learning.”
English professor Kremena Todorova came to Transylvania in 2005 from the University of Notre Dame, where she earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in English and completed a teaching postdoctoral fellowship. She also holds a B.A. in English from Hope College. Her research interests include twentieth-century American literature, comparative ethnic American literature, and race studies.
“All of the pedagogical decisions I make are informed by my belief in the tremendous value of community-based, interdisciplinary, and collaborative teaching and learning,” she said. “Therefore, one of my primary goals as a teacher is to facilitate learning experiences that highlight the importance of community—both the community within the classroom and those beyond it. I believe that enabling students to know each other is an essential part of teaching them about what Nussbaum calls the ‘narrative imagination’—the ability to be intelligent, informed, and engaged readers of other people’s stories.”
Chemistry professor George Kaufman joined the Transylvania faculty in 2007 after time as head teaching fellow in physical-organic chemistry at Harvard University. He earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in chemistry from Harvard and a B.A. in classics, B.S. in chemical physics, and M.S. in chemistry from Brown University. His research interests include electrets and electrostatic, magnetic, and biomolecular self-assembly.
“I strive to foster intuition, confidence, and skills in reasoning and problem solving, and to instill passions for science and the environment by expressing my own,” he said. “From Foundations of the Liberal Arts (developing into first-year seminar) and general chemistry to quantum chemistry. I take great strides to maintain students’ interest and enthusiasm—learning is exciting, and science is exciting—and to illustrate the relevance of chemistry to their other courses of study, to current events and scientific discoveries, and to their daily lives.”