The staff and faculty of the RC congratulate instructors Katherine Mendeloff and Herb Eagle for receiving 2021 LSA Outstanding Contribution to Undergraduate Education Awards! 

Kate Mendeloff is recognized for “making the Residential College’s Drama program what it is”, as well her immense leadership with Shakespeare in the Arb, collaborations with students as undergraduate teaching assistants, and creation of a wide range of opportunities for students to engage with theater. She is an inspiring mentor who reaches within and beyond the University when casting and staffing productions, and was successful in bringing visiting artists to the RC. Former students describe her as innovative, imaginative, inspiring, and loving, someone who “believes in collaboration over competition,” with “immense dedication and passion for her students and for the RC Drama department.” She helps many students feel respected, encouraged and empowered, including during the especially difficult circumstances of the pandemic. 

Katherine Mendeloff, Lecturer IV, holds degrees from Princeton University and the Yale School of Drama. She has taught at the Residential College since 1990, both in the Drama Concentration and in the First Year Seminar Program. Mendeloff also teaches advanced classes in both acting and directing, and is the faculty advisor for the Residential College Players. She is the creator and the Artistic Director of Shakespeare in the Arb since 2001. Mendeloff has directed for theater festivals in Moscow, Russia, and for the Tennessee Williams Festival in Provincetown, Massachusetts. One of her most recent projects was a new play about the Detroit riot/rebellion of 1967, which she produced at the University Museum of Art and at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African-American History in Detroit.


Associate Professor Eagle was commended for meticulous and a highly organized approach to teaching, the engaging discussions he encouraged and enabled students to have, individual work with students to improve their writing (especially in his upper level writing courses), and attentive mentoring. He has developed an enormous and continuously innovative teaching portfolio, both before and during the pandemic, engaging in outstanding service to his department and LSA. Former students speak of him as “kind,” “enthusiastic,” and caring, and his courses as “an absolute delight;” a comfortable environment that encourages students to share their ideas. Students also speak of his extremely clear explanations of cultural nuances that allow students to not only understand films made in contexts that are foreign to them, but engage in deep discussion about these films. 

Herb Eagle joined the RC and the Slavic Department in 1979, and has taught courses on film and literature—from small seminars to medium-sized courses on Russian and Ukrainian Cinema, Polish Cinema and the Czech New Wave, and very large courses on American Film Genres and on Race, Ethnicity and Gender in Central European Cinema.  He also served as Director of the Program In Film and Video Studies from 1981 to 1988, as Director of the Residential College from 1988 to 1996, and as Chair of the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures from 2006 to 2014. He has been the coordinator and designer of large courses for the Program in American Culture (on American Film Genres, in the 1980s) and for the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies (on Russia and the Soviet Union) since the 1990s.

Herb and Kate join numerous other RC faculty recipients of this award from past years including Cristhian Espinoza-Pino (2020), Katri Ervamaa (2019), Laura Thomas (2015), Dominique Butler-Borruat (2011), Fred Peters (2009), and Mabel Rodríguez (2008 and 2003).

Congratulations, Herb and Kate, on this honor, and thank you for your exemplary commitment to our students and the community that they serve!