The Department of Political Science at the University of Michigan has announced that Associate Professor Mariah Zeisberg is the recipient of the first annual Metrick Family Creativity and Collaboration in Curriculum Award. This new annual award goes to a faculty member who has developed or redeveloped an undergraduate course in the Department of Political Science that promotes respectful dialogue, collaboration, and encourages discussion of different perspectives on issues. These efforts could be a central axis of the course, or might be folded in smaller and subtler ways in the course.
Here's what the committee had to say about Mariah's application:
We were impressed by her efforts in POLSCI 318 American Constitutional Politics to foster discussion and engagement across perspectives. Mariah’s class engages with weighty constitutional matters. Some of the class topics include slavery, religious liberty, and executive power in war. She says about her course, "The subject matter is inherently controversial and class discussion usually raises recognizably partisan cleavages.” But rather than accept predictable schisms, Mariah has designed her class "intentionally, to cultivate, develop, and challenge assumed meanings of difference.” Difference is at the heart of her class, both the differences in understanding of key concepts and differences in the life experiences and perspectives of each student. We also noted her efforts to enhance the diversity represented in her classroom by connecting with new pre-first year students in the Summer Bridge Scholars program. This year, for example, at least 4 students in her 318 class are students she taught in the Bridge program.