1994 Goldman Prize for Excellence in Teaching
The Goldman Prize is awarded to recognize excellence in teaching. The Goldman Prize Committee considers research and public service as they contribute to superior performance in the classroom. Students nominate professors who distinguish themselves in these categories. This year the Goldman Committee is pleased to announce the selection of Gordon Christenson, Alphonse Squillante, and Pamela Stephens as this year's recipients of the Goldman Prize for Excellence in Teaching. The Committee recognizes and applauds each of these professors for their outstanding work.
Professor Christenson consistently demonstrates the ability to successfully motivate and enlighten students in his classes. He gives to students much more than just an overview of the law. His use of historical perspective and personal experience transforms the often abstract bases of Constitutional Law into cognizable points in American history and, thus, more readily comprehensible to first-year students. In his seminar classes, Professor Christenson provides anecdotes and candid observations based in experience to both entertain his students and effectively impart his knowledge upon them. Professor Christenson's dedication to teaching is shown also by his contributions to the Introduction to Law program. His efforts to acclimate incoming students to the law school environment ensure them the easiest transition as is possible. On all levels of his teaching, Professor Christenson treats students with respect and offers them an enthusiasm for the law that shines through in his teaching.
Professor Squillante expresses concern about his students' development as students of the law, as lawyers-in-training, and as people right from the first day of class. He wears his passion for teaching and, indeed, for knowledge, on his sleeve, regardless of whether the course taught is Contracts or whether the course is an upper-level Uniform Commercial Code course, and his students have already survived first year and often have a bit more cynical attitude toward law school and professors' aims and motives. He inspires at least an interest in the commercial law from even those students who felt sure when they entered law school that commercial law would be the last area of law they would seek out and study. Professor Squillante was selected for this award despite the fact that he did not teach during the Spring 1994 semester due to health reasons.
As a visiting professor at the College of Law, Professor Stephens has made an immediate positive impression on her students. Her command of the subject material and ability to convey that knowledge are qualities that characterize excellence in teaching. Professor Stephens takes extra time to ensure that her students can understand the material and apply it to real world situations. Her genuine concern for her students is quite evident. The exceptional qualities of Professor Stephens extend beyond the confines of the classroom. She is easily accessible in her office, and openly encourages students to take advantage of her office hours. The student gets the same personal treatment as in the classroom, but on a more individualized level. Professor Stephens seems to regard the student-teacher ralationship as more a colleague-to-colleague interaction. This treatment is conducive to an effective learning environment.
We congratulate Professors Gordon Christenson, Alphonse Squillante, and Pamela Stephens and look forward to their continuing achievements.