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Meet the 2019 recipients of the Goergen Award for teaching excellence

October 18, 2019

A music teacher. A Spanish professor. A scientist turned writing instructor.

These are the University of Rochester’s recipients of the 2019 Goergen Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.

Established in 1997 by University Trustee and Board Chair Emeritus Robert Goergen ’60 and his wife, Pamela, the award recognizes distinctive teaching accomplishments of faculty in Arts, Sciences & Engineering.

This year’s recipients are:

The three will be honored in a 5 p.m. ceremony on Tuesday, October 22 in the Hawkins-Carlson Room at Rush Rhees Library.

“Out of a particularly strong crop of nominations, we selected three excellent educators: congratulations to professors BaileyShea, Prendergast, and Schaefer,” says Jeffrey Runner, dean of the College. “I am so grateful to Bob and Pam Goergen for enabling us to recognize this critical aspect of our faculty’s role in the university. So many students have been positively impacted by their hard work and ingenious ways of making the material they’re teaching come alive.”

Nominations for the Goergen Awards come from students, faculty, staff members, and administrators. The winners are chosen by Runner; Gloria Culver, dean of the School of Arts & Sciences; and Wendi Heinzelman, dean of the Hajim School of Engineering & Applied Sciences.

Read more

Matthew BaileyShea teaches his Theory I class.
Matthew BaileyShea: An ‘active classroom’ is music to his ears
“Classes can include more than 30 students from varied backgrounds, many playing multiple instruments. But you try to make a connection with all of them,” says BaileyShea.
Ryan Prendergast leafs through a manuscript while two students look on.
Ryan Prendergast: Teaching the principles of Don Quixote and beyond
“My philosophy is, we should give students the input and tools to be able to produce knowledge on their own,” says Prendergast. “To do this requires a progressive loosening of the reigns…”
Katherine Schaefer teaches a writing class.
Katherine Schaefer: A scientist who found the ‘write’ stuff
Schaefer says, “I learned that every student is different, and 99.9 percent of my teaching philosophy now is about finding out where students are and what they need, without making assumptions about what they know.”


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