2016 Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence

Amy Quark

Professor Amy QuarkAs Professor Quark guides her students' scholarly development, they come to see her as a consummate teacher, an inspiring and provocative researcher, a mentor, and a role model. Her emphasis on process-driven and interactive pedagogy helps to develop students who are comfortable with difficult critical debates and ready to tackle real-life issues. She achieves this success across a broad range of students with different backgrounds and learning abilities. She is also skilled at integrating scholarship and teaching, crafting course assignments that actively engage students in the practice of doing. As one example, her "Food and Society" course is organized around two research projects that students work on individually and in small teams. The first requires students to use a variety of methods to research the social and ecological impacts of their food; in a second project, they analyze quantitative survey data to gain insights into unequal access to healthy, affordable foods in the Williamsburg area. Students respond with high praise, noting that these types of assignments have helped them to formulate sociological questions from new perspectives. It is fitting that she now be recognized with the Arts and Sciences 2016 Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence.