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2009 Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching Announced

As part of the University’s commitment to encourage graduate students in their development as teachers, the Graduate School presents the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching to recognize outstanding teaching by Ph.D. students. This year, three exceptional students received this award.

Phillip Carter



Phillip Carter is a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate in the Department of English and is obtaining a certificate in Women’s Studies from Duke. He also is completing North Carolina State University’s program in sociolinguistics. Phillip received a B.A. in Spanish Language and Literature and an M.A. in English and Sociolinguistics from North Carolina State University (’01, ’04). His doctoral research focuses on sociolinguistic theory, theory of language, and subjectivity and identity formation. Associate Professor of English Julie Tetel, with whom Philip team teaches, writes, “[Phillip] wrote weekly e-mails to summarize points and ruminate on class discussion, which was crucial to carry the conversation through the weekend and not feel like a 5-day hiatus.” She has since begun to adopt this practice in her own courses. Professor of English Tom Ferraro notes that Phillip’s enthusiasm has drawn undergraduates into the department to talk with faculty about pursuing graduate studies in linguistics. In his teaching statement, Phillip writes, “a good course is like a good novel, when the story is so compelling that students don’t want to put it down!”

Kinohi Nishikawa



Kinohi Nishikawa is completing his Ph.D. in the Literature Program along with certificates in Women’s Studies and in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies. He has taught courses in all these and other areas while at Duke. Research Professor in Literature Anne Garréta remarks, “Teaching and research are clearly [Kinohi's] vocation… and his construction of classroom interaction processes are evidence of his maturity in teaching.” Kinohi claims, “Over the six years I have taught at Duke, I have had the opportunity to refine my pedagogy to focus on intellectual collaboration in the classroom. But my students’ investment in classroom readings and conversation nourishes my own enthusiasm.”#

Claire Parker Siburt



Claire Parker Siburt is a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Chemistry where she has served as head teaching assistant, supervised the independent studies of undergraduates, and developed a new course co-taught by a team of graduate students. Claire is a fellow in Duke’s Preparing Future Faculty program, through which she has been mentored by Nancy Harris, the associate dean and professor of Biology at Elon University. Al Crumbliss, professor of Chemistry and dean of Natural Sciences at Duke, indicates that Claire “thinks deeply about teaching issues, and has applied these ideas to designing and teaching undergraduate courses like Chemistry of Art and Archaeology.” Professor of Chemistry Steve Baldwin states, “Claire is the role model for all of Chemistry’s graduate students involved in teaching. She is an inspiration for all who take teaching seriously!” In her teaching statement, Claire discusses her role as an educator, stating, “I strive to facilitate the development of my students into self-aware learners, scientifically literate citizens, critical thinkers, and effective communicators.”

— Contributors: Steve Baldwin, Phillip Carter, Al Crumbliss, Tom Ferraro, Anne Garréta, Douglas James, Kinohi Nishikawa, Claire Parker Siburt, Julie Tetel