During Tulane’s 2019 Commencement Ceremony, three Honors Program faculty members were recognized with the university’s most prestigious teaching awards.
The Suzanne and Stephen Weiss Presidential Fellows Awards for Undergraduate Teaching recognize faculty for excellence in undergraduate teaching, student advising, and instruction improvement and development. This year’s recipients of the medals and $5,000 in research funds were Dr. Michael J. Moore and Dr. Donata Henry. The Honors Program is thrilled to celebrate the recognition of these two professors who have enriched the experiences of our students over many years with their dedicated instruction and guidance.
Professor Moore teaches upper-level courses as an Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering and he has introduced first-year students to research in an Honors Colloquium entitled “The Quest for Answers.” He creates an inclusive and engaged environment in his colloquium classes, always cognizant that his first-year students come from various backgrounds and have different academic plans for their undergraduate career. In addition to teaching, Professor Moore has served as the Faculty-in-Residence for the past five years in Weatherhead Residence Hall, where he developed programs for sophomore Honors students such as roundtable discussions, presentations, and panels. From giving his series of “Navigating Academic Life” talks in the Weatherhead lobby to hosting ice cream socials at his home, Professor Moore has always strived to cultivate connections with students in multiple ways. This year was Professor Moore’s final year living in Weatherhead, but we are sure he will continue to contribute invaluably to Tulane’s academic community through his inspired instruction.
Professor Henry is a senior professor of practice in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and the Associate Director for the Center for Engaged Learning and Teaching (CELT). She also received the distinguished title of Honors Professor of the Year in 2014-2015. A lover of the outdoors and a native New Orleanian, Professor Henry served as the faculty advisor for a Wall Society of first-year Honors students called “Tulane, Naturally.” She invited students off campus to discover the natural beauty and adventures to be found in New Orleans, such as canoeing on a bayou, exploring the Audubon Zoo, and planting pine trees to restore an ancient forest. These hands-on experiences provide opportunities for students to apply the knowledge they learn in classes and to deepen their appreciation of the local environment. We are so pleased that Professor Henry’s passionate teaching has been recognized and look forward to watching her continue to succeed in her instruction, both in and out of the classroom.
First-year Honors students have the unique opportunity to take a course with the 2019 recipient of the President’s Award for Excellence in Professional and Graduate Teaching, Prof. Sally Richardson of the Tulane Law School. As an internationally respected scholar in the field of property law, Prof. Richardson teaches law students the intricacies of civil law property, common law property, and property theory. She also teaches a first-year Honors colloquium on the theory of property, exploring the connections between the philosophical underpinnings of property theory and its real-life applications. We are honored that Prof. Richardson brings her expertise and her passion into the classroom with our Honors undergraduates.
All three of these faculty members embody the ideals of scholarship and engaged learning that the Honors Program values. We congratulate them on their well-deserved recognition, and we look forward to continuing our partnership.