On Friday at the University’s annual Faculty Day, Professor John Harrington, Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences, presented History Professor Kirsten Swinth with the award for outstanding teaching in the Social Sciences. Dean Harrington’s citation mentioned her her broad range of skills and interests, including the history of women and painting, her experiences working in education abroad, particularly in Mozambique, and work organizing teaching events outside of the classroom. The History Department could not be more proud of Professor Swinth: Congratulations!
The recipient of the 2017 award for teaching in Social Sciences has been researching and teaching questions of equality long before the 2016 Presidential election. The recipient has been organizing and participating with colleagues and students in many mini-lectures, open fora, and workshops and in the course of them demonstrated outstanding communication skills including whiteboard and Google Docs.
Her teaching skills and interests are unusually broad. She is a practitioner as well as a teacher of visual history and photography, and her scholarship changed cultural history in a study of “Painting Women.” She is almost certainly the only person in the room who has served on the Board of the American International School of Mozambique, and while there she also acquired remarkable skills in priming water pumps.
With a focus on Women’s history, she has reshaped our programs in American Studies and in History while also reaching students in ways that many of us can only aspire to. Her student evaluations describe her as “very passionate,” “very enthusiastic,” and “incredibly knowledgeable.” One student, more pointedly, praised her because “her goal was not to tear you down, or catch people who did not read, like some I could name.”
The recipient of the 2017 teaching award in Social Sciences has been a Program Director, a Department Chair, and an Associate Dean. The awardee is Dr. Kirsten Swinth.