Hamilton College's highest awards for teaching were presented on Friday to three faculty members from the anthropology, French and history departments. They were honored during the College's annual Class & Charter Day celebration, an annual convocation recognizing student and faculty excellence during the preceding academic year.
Professor of Anthropology Douglas Raybeck was awarded "The Samuel and Helen Lang Prize for Excellence in Teaching"; Associate Professor of French Martine Guyot-Bender received "The Class of 1963 Excellence in Teaching Award;" and Assistant Professor of History Kevin Grant was named the recipient of "The John R. Hatch Class of 1925 Excellence in Teaching Award."
Douglas Raybeck, The Samuel and Helen Lang Prize for Excellence in Teaching
An expert in future studies, Raybeck recently published the book, Looking Down the Road: A Systems Approach to Future Studies (2000). In addition, he studies Malaysian culture and psychological anthropology, and has been a fellow at the National Institutes of Health. He has published extensively, including, Mad Dogs, Englishmen and the Errant Anthropologist, a book summarizing his fieldwork in Kelantan, Malaysia. Raybeck earned his Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1975. He regularly speaks at meetings of the American Anthropological Association. Raybeck is currently engaged in developing educational simulation courses. Several years ago, he began teaching a cultural simulation "SolSys" course -- an interactive, technology-intensive experience in which students create and maintain a community of the future. Raybeck is the fourth recipient of the award, which is given annually to a senior, tenured faculty member. It is presented on the basis of superior teaching and for having a significant and positive impact on students. The fund was established by Helen Lang, the mother of Michael C. Lang, class of 1967.
In nominating Raybeck for the award, a student wrote, "Anyone who has had the good fortune to take Cultural Anthropology with Professor Douglas Raybeck will agree that he goes beyond simply lecturing – he educates and involves students with their own education…Dr. Raybeck leaves his students wanting to learn more – not just about anthropology but about everything that surrounds us." Another wrote "If I could recommend one class for students at Hamilton to take, it would be his."
Kevin Grant, The John R. Hatch Class of 1925 Excellence in Teaching Award
Grant joined the Hamilton faculty in 1997, having received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. An historian of the British Empire, Grant teaches courses on Britain, Ireland, and Sub-Saharan Africa. He has been the recipient of a Fulbright Research Scholarship to Great Britain, a Mellon Dissertation Fellowship, and a Bernadotte E. Schmitt Travel Grant from the American Historical Association. He is currently completing a book manuscript entitled, A Civilised Savagery: British Humanitarian Politics and the New Slaveries in Africa, 1884-1926. He has articles forthcoming in the Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History and the Journal of British Studies.
In nominating Grant for the award, a student wrote, "Despite Professor Grant's profound familiarity with his subject area, he does not discount the ideas an individual might introduce nor does he dismiss responses that question the presentation of material. He encourages us to question and think about everything we read."
The John R. Hatch Class of 1925 Excellence in Teaching Award was established in 1998 by Alfrederic S. Hatch, a 1958 Hamilton graduate, in memory of his father, who graduated from Hamilton in 1925. It supports an annual prize for a tenure-track faculty member who has been employed by the college for fewer than five years, and who has demonstrated superior teaching, high-quality scholarly research and a significant and positive impact on students.
Martine Guyot-Bender, The Class of 1963 Excellence in Teaching Award
Guyot-Bender, who specializes in 20th century French literature and cultures, joined the Hamilton faculty in 1991. She received her bachelor's degree from the University of Metz in France, and her master's degree and doctorate from the University of Oregon. Guyot-Bender has published two books on contemporary French novelist Patrick Modiano --one in French, Poetique et politique de l'ambiguite chez Patrick Modiano and one in English, for which she is the co-editor, Paradigms of Memory: The Occupation and Other Hi/stories in the Novels of Patrick Modiano (1998). She has presented numerous conference papers and contributed many encyclopedia entries on popular culture during the Nazi occupation in France. More recently, she has published articles about popular culture, including one on the stereotypes of France in American tourist magazines (2001). Forthcoming are a book chapter on recent trends (including the influence of post-modern and post-colonial theories) in French popular fiction and an article on representation of gender in recent French cinema. She is currently researching for a book describing the ways in which contemporary French historical novels represent the processes of writing the past.
The Class of 1963 Excellence in Teaching Award was established in 1988 to recognize one Hamilton faculty member each year who demonstrates extraordinary commitment to teaching. In nominating her for the award a student wrote, "She has a true passion for the language that both inspires and motivates her students." Another said, "The most important and fulfilling role of a teacher is to inspire students to advance and their academic and personal goals. In this capacity, Professor Guyot-Bender is, without a doubt, the most influential professor I have met. She is the 'great teacher' that inspired and directed my major in foreign languages."