Hamilton College’s highest awards for teaching were presented to four faculty members during the annual Class & Charter Day ceremony on May 9. Professor of History Lisa Trivedi was awarded the Samuel & Helen Lang Prize for Excellence in Teaching; Assistant Professor of Psychology Alexandra List was honored with the John R. Hatch Excellence in Teaching Award; and Assistant Professor of Philosophy Russell Marcus received the Class of 1963 Excellence in Teaching Award. In addition, Richard Bedient, the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Mathematics, received Student Assembly’s Sidney Wertimer Award.
The Samuel & Helen Lang Prize for Excellence in Teaching
Trivedi is the 16th recipient of the Samuel & Helen Lang Prize for Excellence in Teaching, 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.
Trivedi, a cultural and social historian of modern South Asia, received her doctorate from the University of California at Davis. Her first monograph, Clothing Gandhi’s Nation: Homespun and Modern India (Indiana, 2007) was supported by a Fulbright Scholarship to India in 1996. She was a Visiting Fellow at Oxford University’s Pembroke College, where she began research on her second monograph, Bound By Cloth: women textile workers in Bombay and Lancashire, 1890-1940.
Trivedi produced a project of 70 photographs of ordinary women at work in Ahmedabad, India, taken by Pranlal Patel, in 1937. She oversaw the first-time publication of the photos and curated their exhibition at Hamilton's Wellin Museum of Art.
Last summer she presented a paper, “A Swadeshi Economy: catalogues, shops, and depots,” at the 17th World Economic History Congress in Kyoto Japan. Trivedi was also invited to participate in a two-day international workshop at Kyoto University's Institute for Research in the Humanities.
A student who nominated her wrote “Professor Trivedi has been fundamental in helping me develop the confidence in myself as a writer and a lifelong learner. I had never considered becoming a history major until she expressed her confidence in me, which in turn, fostered a belief in myself. She encouraged me to better understand the discipline of history and he continues to nurture my interest for it. She truly is a professor who exemplifies the unique experience at Hamilton College, in that she genuinely cares for her students and their learning experiences.”
The John R. Hatch Class of 1925 Excellence in Teaching Award
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 significant and positive impact on students.
Alexandra List received a National Institutes of Health National Research Service Award for both her doctoral and post-doctoral research. List's research has focused on understanding how we perceive and attend to visual, auditory and haptic information in our environment. She uses a variety of human cognitive neuroscience techniques. Her work has been published in various journals, including Cognition, Brain, the Journal of Vision, Neuropsychologia and the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance. List earned her bachelor's degree in cognitive science and doctorate in psychology at the University of California, Berkeley.
A student nominator wrote, “Professor List is a clear example of what it is to be a successful Hamilton professor, she teaches, she serves, and she does research … She encourages us to speak up and to ask deep thought provoking questions. (List) builds our confidence and gives us the tools we need to succeed. This makes class fun, challenging, and motivating.”
Class of 1963 Excellence in Teaching Award
The Class of 1963 Excellence in Teaching Award was established in 1988 by members of the class at their 25th reunion to recognize one Hamilton faculty member each year who demonstrates extraordinary commitment to and skill in teaching.
Russell Marcus teaches logic and modern philosophy, as well as philosophy of language and philosophy of mathematics, his main area of research. In addition to working on our knowledge of mathematics and Descartes’s epistemology, Marcus has published articles on philosophical pedagogy. He also spends some time thinking about, and teaching a course on, the role of intuitions in philosophy.
In 2015, he published his first book, Autonomy Platonism and the Indispensability Argument. He was co-editor with Mark McEvoy of Hofstra University of An Historical Introduction to the Philosophy of Mathematics, published this year by Bloomsbury.
Before Hamilton, Marcus taught philosophy at Queens College, Hofstra University and the College of Staten Island, and high school mathematics in New York City and in Costa Rica. He received a doctorate from City University of New York.
Marcus received The John R. Hatch Excellence in Teaching Award in 2011.
A student who nominated him noted, ”Professor Marcus has supported me, challenged me, and inspired me. I am beyond grateful to have had the opportunity to work with (him) so closely throughout my time at Hamilton.
“A s a member of the Honor Court, I’ve had the opportunity to see Professor Marcus’ initiative and commitment to making Hamilton an even better place …I’ve seen (his) care and respect for students…(he) is committed to serving and bettering the Hamilton community.”
The Student Assembly Sidney Wertimer Award
Richard Bedient, the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Mathematics, received the Sidney Wertimer Award from Student Assembly.
Hamilton’s Student Assembly initiated the Wertimer Award in 2005 in memory of the late Sidney Wertimer, professor of economics emeritus, who died in February, 2005. The award recognizes a faculty member “who is recognized as a mentor and active participant within the Hamilton community.”
Richard Bedient's research and teaching interests are low dimensional topology, knot theory, fractal geometry and chaos theory. He earned his doctorate from the University of Michigan and was appointed to Hamilton's faculty in 1979.