May 6, 2019
Three members of the Brandeis University faculty have been recognized for their excellence in the classroom with 2018-19 teaching awards.
Students, faculty and alumni annually nominate faculty members who have impacted their lives for the three awards: The Lerman-Neubauer ’69 Prize for Excellence in Teaching and Mentoring; the Michael L. Walzer ’56 Award for Teaching; and the Louis Dembitz Brandeis Prize for Excellence in Teaching.
The awards are overseen by the Committee for the Support of Teaching on behalf of the Office of the Dean of Arts and Sciences. Dean Dorothy Hodgson presented the awards at a faculty meeting April 12.
The following faculty members were honored:
Keith Merrill, assistant professor of mathematics: Louis Dembitz Brandeis Prize for Excellence in Teaching
What students had to say about Merrill:
Elizabeth Brainerd, Susan and Barton Winokur Professor in Economics and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies: Lerman-Neubauer ’69 Prize for Excellence in Teaching and Mentoring
What students had to say about Brainerd:
“Professor Brainerd was one of my favorite professors during my time at Brandeis University. I had her last semester for Econometrics. I was very nervous to take this class because I had heard numerous stories from economics students about how difficult this course is. Professor Brainerd made this class exciting and fun to learn about. I could tell that she truly cared about all her students and really wanted every single person to get the most out of this class. She kept the class engaged at all times and did an extremely good job at explaining the material in every class and in one-on-one settings. While this class was a challenge, I found it so rewarding. Econometrics turned out to be one of my favorite courses, if not my favorite, and this is due to Professor Brainerd.”
“She was always open and approachable before and after class times. The class was structured perfectly, the readings were informative and engaging. This was one of my favorite classes, and one of my favorite professors since getting to Brandeis.”
Naghmeh Sohrabi, Charles (Corky) Goodman Chair in Middle East History: Michael L. Walzer ’56 Award for Teaching
What students had to say about Sohrabi:
“Professor Sohrabi brought incredible enthusiasm and passion to a course that made everyone genuinely want to read 200 pages and prepare themselves for class. It was never about a grade in her classroom. It was about learning. She cares very much about all of her students, and she challenges them to learn and keep learning in a respectful and exciting way.”
“She is both a fantastic thinker and an even more fantastic teacher, Professor Sohrabi is not only a brilliant professor, but gives her students the tools to think brilliantly as well. She creates a space filled with a variety of different voices and arguments. She not only stimulates interest in everything she teaches, but asks us to think critically about everything we learn and to formulate counter perspectives.”