School of Professional Studies
Reginald D. Archambault Teaching Award

Archambault Teaching Award

The Reginald D. Archambault Award for Teaching Excellence recognizes, rewards, and promotes excellence in teaching in the Brown University summer programs. The award is named in recognition of Reginald D. Archambault, Professor of Education emeritus, and the inaugural Dean of Summer Studies, 1984 - 1992. Professor Archambault served as Chair of Brown’s Education Department from 1967 through the early eighties, contributing greatly to the M.A.T. program and developing the Brown Summer High School as a teaching laboratory. He remains dedicated to advancing the craft of pedagogy.

Award recipients are selected based on their ability to influence, motivate and inspire students to learn.  Our most outstanding instructors employ a variety of creative and innovative inquiry-based teaching activities that challenge the students to reflect deeply and learn effectively.  They have clear goals for what they want their students to be able to do upon completion of the course, and they periodically assess whether their students actually understood the material and learned the desired skills. They also create a safe yet challenging environment where students can flourish and where learning is fun and exciting. 

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2014 Archambault Teaching Award Winners Announced

This year we had another exceptionally strong pool of candidates who brought enthusiasm, professionalism and innovation to their classes, and provoked outstanding reviews from their students. The award recipients are:

1st prize: Diane Logan for “Psychology of Good and Evil”
Diane designed an extremely well-thought out and pedagogically sound course, with clear expectations and innovative assignments. Her course materials were outstanding, extremely well organized, and clearly engaging.   We were particularly impressed with the matrix group work structure, the varied lecture and activity approach, the integration of current events, and the use of multimedia during breaks.  The purpose of the lectures was to provide a foundation for deeper classroom discussion and exploration.  The classroom discussions received rave reviews from her students.  The topics evolved as student interest and enthusiasm developed throughout the course.  Also, Diane employed a model of “Relevance, Reasoning, and Responsibility” asking students to take charge of their learning.  She did this by having students connect their interests to their studies, and inspired them to explore and ultimately excel through their own personal learning goals and strengths.  Finally, Diane received an excellent letter of reference, meaningful student self-evaluations with reflections, and glowing anonymous student comments.

2nd prize: Stephanie Quintana Bouchey & Terik (Ronald) Daly for “Habitatable Worlds: Possible Places for Life in the Solar System and Beyond”
Stephanie and Terik composed an impressive syllabus incorporating incredible detail.  The syllabus, course design, and course materials were all meticulously thought out and developed.  This course clearly challenged students, yet also engaged them.  Stephanie and Terik specified clear expectations for behavior, a detailed course calendar, and asked for and incorporated individual student goals into their classes.  The class was student centered, and the students achieved their learning goals by scaffolding assignments and the information presented.   As a team, they were aware of many theoretical aspects of pedagogical models of teaching and learning, purposefully experimenting with different pedagogical methods.  The daily WIIFM sheets (“What’s in it for Me”) demonstrated great planning and structure which made the classes relevant to the students.  They also made themselves available to students outside of the course, thus making sure that they were attuned to their students’ needs and skills.   In addition, the instructors kept a well-organized Canvas course site which was used to respond to exit cards in between face-to-face sessions.  Finally, the instructor reference was remarkable and the anonymous student evaluations were stellar. 

Past Award Recipients

2013

1st prize:  Lauren Quattrochi & Michelle Fogerson for "Drug Discovery: Treating Human Disease through Medicine"
This inspiring and thought provoking class stood out in that it covered an impressive amount material, yet the students were amazingly attentive, were asking deep questions, and were sincerely interested in learning as much as they could possibly absorb. Although the students were challenged considerably, learning appeared to remain fun and enjoyable.

2nd prize:  Arseny Khakhalin for "The Secret Life of the Brain: From Shrimps to Humans"
This class was exceptionally well organized and prepared, included an accessible on-line component, and incorporated numerous interesting hands-on experiments.  The curriculum and the teaching were very innovative.  The class started with basic neurobiology, and gradually and effectively, built up to include complex concepts typically found in graduate level courses.  

Honorable Mentions

Oddny Helgadottir for "The World in Turmoil"
This creative and engaging politics and economics course incorporated a lively mixture of lectures, discussions (face-to-face and on-line), games, debates, and documentary films. Students clearly enjoyed the active collaboration with each other as the instructor challenged them to elucidate questions, think critically, and reflect deeply and meaningfully on polarizing and controversial political issues.

Alexandra King for "The Meaning of Life" and “Ethics: Theory & Practice”
The classes had very well developed syllabi and carefully constructed activities that skillfully engaged the students.  The teaching style was flexible and adaptive, as well as fluid and responsive to students’ questions. The classes were highly interactive and centered on the learner.  The material was delivered in a clear and concise manner.  The discussions were particularly rich and meaningful to the students, who obviously enjoyed the class.

2012

1st prize:  Maureen Estevez & Jordan Renna for "Neuroscience in Health & Disease"
Maureen and Jordan’s class stood out as inquiry-based teaching at its best. Students were quizzed frequently and critically reflected on their learning. The instructors asked for anonymous student evaluations regularly and made sure to integrate feedback into their class.  Maureen and Jordan also created an extraordinary course pack with clear learning goals and leading questions, resulting in a course that significantly advanced student learning. 

2nd prize:  James Joy & Timothy Raben for "The Quantum Revolution in Technology"
Tim and James did an exemplary job of team teaching. They took turns in class, complementing each other’s teaching style, while challenging and inspiring their students. Their lessons were carefully planned out, yet there was room for spontaneous discussion and problem solving in the classroom. Most remarkably, they made the difficult topic of quantum mechanics accessible to high school students.

Honorable Mentions

Minh Ly for "Global Justice and International Politics"
Minh guided discussion sessions in ways that created genuine excitement and active participation in the classroom.  Indeed, his skill in eliciting participation reached every student in his class. His approachable classroom presence inspired terrifically positive student evaluations.

Tania Jenkins for "Sociology of Diagnosis"
Tania made use of a variety of very effective instructional techniques.  In leading discussions, she was particularly adept in taking student comments and turning them back to the students in ways that inspired them to keep thinking, and to think more deeply. At the same time, she created a safe and comfortable atmosphere where students were challenged to reflect, and felt free to openly express differing opinions.

Jacqueline Anderson for "Number Theory"
Jacqueline’s innovative and creative course included classroom problem solving in ways that made the process highly interactive.  Her teaching brought her subject to life, inspired students to share her joy and excitement in mathematics and to work well above and beyond what was required.

2011

Jordan M. Braciszewski
Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Behavioral & Social Sciences, Dept. of Public Health
“Community Psychology: Making a Difference in the Real World”

Honorable mentions

Eoin Ryan
Graduate Student in Philosophy, for “To be Human: Minds, Robots, Clones and Zombies”

Deborah Katz
Graduate Student in English, for “Putting Ideas into Words”