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Innovative Instruction

History 392 students plant rice at the Whole Earth Nature School. (photo: Leslie Pincus)

In the History Classroom

U-M History faculty teach; they do not just do research. One of the largest history departments in the world, our classes span an extraordinary range of eras, regions, and topics. Our faculty’s dedication to undergraduate teaching offers students a window into cutting-edge historical research as well as providing a solid foundation for students to engage rigorously with sources and historical interpretations.

In addition to traditional lecture and seminar courses, History faculty have developed novel approaches to understanding the past, including field trips, archives projects, and public history initiatives. U-M History faculty are perennial winners of college and university teaching awards, and the History Department recently won the LSA Student Government's Department Award of Excellence.

Department Undergraduate Awards

  • LSA Student Government’s Departmental Award of Excellence, 2012-13
  • LSA Dean’s Office’s Departmental Award for Contributions to the Undergraduate Initiative, 2012-13
  • LSA Department Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education, 2002-03

Faculty Teaching Awards

Golden Apple Award
honors teachers who consistently teach each lecture as if it were their last, and strive not only to disseminate knowledge but to inspire and engage students in its pursuit; one award annually

  • Matthew Lassiter (2004)
  • Victor B. Lieberman (2014)

Arthur F. Thurnau Professorships
recognizes and rewards faculty for outstanding contributions to undergraduate education; five awarded annually

  • Stephen Berrey (2023)
  • Valerie A. Kivelson (1997)
  • Matthew Lassiter (2015)
  • Terrence J. McDonald (1993)
  • Brian Porter-Szücs (2012)
  • Rebecca J. Scott (1994)

John Dewey Award
recipients demonstrate long-term commitment to the education of undergraduate students

  • Matthew Lassiter (2017)
  • Douglas Northrop (2014)
  • Brian Porter-Szücs (2010)

Provost’s Teaching Innovation Prize
honors original, specific innovations to improve student learning

  • Douglas Northrop (2011)

Harold R. Johnson Diversity Service Award
recognizes faculty whose service contributes to the development of a culturally and ethnically diverse campus community

  • Matthew Countryman (2008)
  • Anthony Mora (2017)

History Department Undergraduate Teaching Award
recognizes a History faculty member who has challenged students, encouraged them to think in new ways, or has displayed exceptional innovation or creativity in teaching; presented by the History Club

  • Anna Bonnell Freidin (2024)
  • Jason Young (2023)
  • Melanie Tanielian (2022)
  • Howard Brick (2021)
  • Pamela Ballinger (2020)
  • Anna Bonnell Freidin (2019)
  • Ellen Poteet (2018)
  • Rita Chin (2017)

Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education Award
recognizes faculty members who are exceptionally dedicated to the educational experiences of undergraduates, and who demonstrate this dedication through achievements and innovations in their own and others’ classrooms or academic programs

  • Juan Cole (2004)
  • James Cook (2005)
  • Susan Juster (1995)
  • Valerie Kivelson (1995)
  • Victor B. Lieberman (1999)
  • Farina Mir (2013)
  • Brian Porter-Szücs (2006)
  • Paolo Squatriti (2003)

Matthews Underclass Teaching Awards
honors significant contributions to the teaching of first- and second-year students in mathematics, history and modern languages, broadly interpreted

  • Farina Mir (2017)
  • Stephen Berrey (2016)
  • Victor B. Lieberman (2012)

Class of 1923 Memorial Teaching Awards
recipients demonstrate outstanding teaching during their first years on the faculty

  • Stephen Berrey (2015)
  • Sueann Caulfield (1997)
  • Matthew Lassiter (2006)
  • Farina Mir (2010)
  • Ian Moyer (2012)
  • Ellen Muehlberger (2015)

University Undergraduate Teaching Award
honors faculty in the early stages of their careers who have demonstrated outstanding ability in teaching undergraduate students

  • James Cook (2003)
  • Matthew Lassiter (2005)
  • Terrence J. McDonald (1991) 

Individual Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education in Race & Ethnicity Instruction
Acknowledges the particular challenges, opportunities, and rewards of excellence in this distinctive area of the LSA curriculum

  • Gregory Dowd (2019)
  • Anthony Mora (2020)

John H. D'Arms Faculty Award for Distinguished Graduate Mentoring in the Humanities
recognizes scholars and/or creative artists of extraordinary depth and breadth who have provided their students with the quality of support that only remarkable learning, coupled with boundless generosity of spirit, can bestow

  • Matthew Countryman (2016)
  • Geoff Eley (2005)
  • Rebecca J. Scott (2011)
  • Scott Spector (2015)