Last modified: Tuesday, August 21, 2001
IU Sociology Department honored
IU Sociology Department honored for teaching excellence by American Sociological Association
The Department of Sociology at Indiana University's Bloomington campus has been selected for the Distinguished Contributions to Teaching Award by the American Sociological Association -- an honor usually given to individuals.
The ASA recognized the department, which was recently ranked 11th in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, for its excellence in training graduate students to become teachers. The department has produced many quality graduates who have gone on to faculty positions at prestigious universities and colleges throughout North America.
The department will be officially honored at the ASA annual national meeting in August.
Robert V. Robinson, chair of the Department of Sociology, said the program is unique because of its approach to developing graduate students into faculty who excel at all facets of teaching.
"I'm very pleased. It's a rarity for a department to receive this award," Robinson said. "I'm hoping that we'll serve as a model for other leading research departments in showing that it's important to train students not just as scholars or researchers, but also as effective classroom teachers."
Evidence of the program's success is the number of honors that program participants and graduates have received at both IU and other institutions. In recent years, under the guidance of the sociology faculty, and especially the architects of the teacher-training program, professors Bernice Pescosolido, Brian Powell and Kent Redding, sociology graduate students have won more IU teaching awards than any of their counterparts. Many recent graduates who have moved on to faculty positions at other universities have been honored by their respective institutions for teaching excellence.
"In a period when the academic community is criticized, perhaps rightly so, for not paying enough attention to teaching, our department has shown that the commitment of a leading sociology department to research does not require the sacrifice of teaching excellence," Robinson said.