2017 Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence

Citation for Francesca Sawaya

Professor Francesca SawayaIn her engagement with students, in her commitments to understudied and innovative subjects, in her drive to connect all her students to their material, and in her transformative relationships with her students, Professor Sawaya has proven herself to be a superior and treasured teacher.

In courses extending from first-year seminars to upper-level undergraduate and advanced graduate courses, she consistently wins high acclaim from students. Their comments attest to her dedication ("She spent many hours with me going through my strengths and weaknesses as a writer/scholar and helped me become self-aware"), to her work helping students improve their critical thinking ("This class taught me to think in a different way"), to her strong focus on writing and verbal expression as a cornerstone of a liberal arts education ("I improved as a writer in ways I didn't know were possible").

Her younger students enter advanced work confidently and with passion, her seniors find her courses to be capstones for their studies, and her graduate students find their writing skills consistently burnished and their intellects expanded, even as she helps them achieve the self-knowledge necessary to become effective scholars and teachers. It is fitting that she now be recognized with the Arts & Sciences 2017 Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence.