Since joining the faculty in 1985, Professor Donaldson has been central to the English Department's teaching in the area of American literature. Many of her courses are cross-listed with the Women's Studies and American Studies programs, and she has excelled at all levels of teaching, from the Freshman Seminar to upper-division and graduate-level courses. As a leader in the developing field of Southern Studies, she regularly integrates her own scholarship into coursework introducing students at all levels to the diverse literatures and cultures of the United States. One student has described her as "fiercely intelligent" and another has noted, "She is a great teacher and genuinely cares about learning and the pursuit of knowledge." Her previous recognition includes the Plumeri Award for Faculty Excellence, 2010; the Thomas Jefferson Teaching Award, 1992; the Society of the Alumni Teaching Fellowship Award, 1991; and the National Endowment for the Humanities Professorship. It is fitting that she now be recognized with the Arts and Sciences 2013 Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence.