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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

“Model teacher” is Cooper Award winner

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Enthusiastically endorsed by colleagues and students, Dr. Michael Dixon, associate professor of history, is the 2008-2009 H. Lee Cooper Core Curriculum Teaching Award winner. Focusing exclusively on teaching, the Cooper award honors a USI faculty member whose work in University Core courses has been especially creative and successful in furthering UCC goals.

Dixon has been with the University since fall 2000. He introduced Latin to the curriculum during the 2001-02 academic year and developed a classical studies minor at USI.

In nominating him for the award, Dr. Tamara Hunt, chair of the History Department, said Dixon “is a model teacher in the core curriculum” and quoted student evaluations of his core course History 111: World Civilizations to 1500. “They make it clear that he is a demanding teacher who nevertheless inspires his students to work hard and do their best in his classes,” she wrote.

Dr. Silvia Anna Rode, chair of the Modern and Classical Languages Department, wrote a letter in support of Dixon’s nomination, citing “his meticulous and challenging course materials and preparations, his high level of energy to help students succeed, and his up-to-date knowledge of materials and teaching theory.”

Other faculty members in the History Department cited his collegiality, respect for students, and dynamic classroom style.

Dixon inspired Jessica Doyle '08, a graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and a classical studies minor, to follow in his footsteps. She took History 111 during her first semester at USI. In her recommendation, she wrote, “Dr. Dixon inspired me to be interested in ancient history because of the way he presented it in this course and the way he motivated me to succeed. Although I was one of many students, he took the time to encourage me personally and to assist me in any way.” Doyle plans to earn her Ph.D. and become a professor of ancient history.

In 2006, Dixon received the Indiana Classical Conference’s Outstanding University Teaching Award in recognition of his “remarkable efforts to promote the study of Classics at USI as well as at the state and national levels.”

He holds a Ph.D. and Master of Arts degree in ancient history from The Ohio State University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Classics from the University of Massachusetts.

The Cooper award is named in honor of H. Lee Cooper, long-time friend and supporter of USI. The award will be officially presented at the Fall Faculty and Administrative Staff Meeting on Monday, August 25. It includes a generous stipend, a plaque, and additional monies for travel and related faculty development.

As this year’s winner, Dixon will deliver a presentation to the University community during the 2008-09 academic year. Details will be released at a later date.

Wendy Knipe Bredhold
News and Information Services
wkbredhold@usi.edu
812/461-5259



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