This year's recipient of the AC Excellence in Teaching Award is Brandi Summers, Associate Professor for Geography. Prof. Summers won the award for her class 70AC, "The Urban Experience: Race, Class, Gender and the American City".
"The diverse teaching tools and strategies created in the class are part of my commitment to engaged pedagogy, which has developed based on the presumption that classrooms are spaces that hold promise for radical change and growth within and outside the classroom. As an engaged teacher, what I’m really asking is that both me and my students take risks, to see ourselves and our lives as part of the critical process of inquiry; to be vulnerable enough to ask hard questions, and to see the world from different, and sometimes contradictory, points of view.”
The ‘AC Teaching Award’ is intended to recognize individual faculty members ’ exemplary teaching in the American Cultures curriculum. Instructors are recognized for their inspiring and sustained commitment to creating a learning space able to hold the multiple challenges and opportunities that teaching AC content requires. Such challenges and opportunities include the multivocality of America’s diverse social fabric; the scales of geographic assemblage which support political and economical ways of being; the often contested nature of the political nation; the intersectional vectors which operate through everyday life (e.g., class, gender, sexuality, religious affiliation, ability, and legal status) and the reality that differences do, as they always have, provide a rough terrain of understanding for our abilities to listen and communicate with each other. Great creativity, ingenuity, and courage are required to meet this rich environment, providing inspiration and guidance for colleagues across the campus. The AC Teaching Award recognizes this signature effort.