Professors awarded for excellence in teaching

Two members of the Bates College humanities faculty have received this year’s Ruth M. and Robert H. Kroepsch Award for Excellence in Teaching. The recipients are Claudia Aburto Guzman, assistant professor of Spanish, and Carole Taylor, professor of English.

The Kroepsch Award honors outstanding performance as a teacher. Each year, faculty members may be nominated from one of the College’s divisions: humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and interdisciplinary programs. This year’s competition was in the humanities.

The students who nominated Guzman praised her enthusiasm and creativity as a teacher, her vast interdisciplinary knowledge of literature and her ability to encourage intellectual growth in every student. Nominations cited her rigor and high expectations, her commitment to academic honesty and her passion for knowledge. Her devotion to her students, wrote one of them, reflects the “privilege of learning itself.”

In nominating Taylor, students celebrated her dedication, her exceptional teaching, her love of English and American literature, her respect for students as independent thinkers and her commitment to infusing academic work with social justice in thought and action. She was singled out as an exemplary thesis advisor, deeply devoted to the thesis as a learning process. Students reported that under Taylor’s guidance they discovered new ways of reading fiction and understanding their connections to the world.

The Kroepsch Award is made through a process in which students, alumni and faculty may nominate faculty members whose teaching they deem exceptional. The nominations are reviewed by a committee including the last several Kroepsch Award winners.

“The Kroepsch Award is one of the most important honors we can bestow upon a faculty member,” said Dean of the Faculty Jill N. Reich, “because at Bates our highest priority is to create an environment that fosters excellence in learning. The opportunity to work with exceptional students attracts outstanding professors to Bates.”

The Kroepsch Award is funded by an endowment established by the late Robert H. Kroepsch, a member of the Bates class of 1933.

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