Annual Teaching Awards 2009
Office of the Provost
Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching
William Gruver, distinguished clinical professor of management and executive-in-residence, came to Bucknell in 1993 after a 20-year career at Goldman Sachs.
He teaches courses in investments, investment banking, strategic thinking, international relations and leadership.
Professor Gruver’s colleagues describe him as a teacher with high standards, a “master of the Socratic method” who relies on experiential and interactive methods to foster critical debate among students. Praised for his caring demeanor and openness, Professor Gruver provides career advice to students regardless of their major. His students know that if they meet his high expectations, they can count on his help in making important professional connections.
Professor Gruver is a mentor for his colleagues, who often invite him to their courses as a guest lecturer, and he is a much sought-after adviser. Students and faculty members alike commend him for his ethical sensitivity and commitment to learning through interdisciplinary perspectives.
For his dedication to teaching, Bucknell is pleased to present Professor William Gruver with the 2009 Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching.
Class of 1956 Lectureship for Inspirational Teaching
T. Michael Toole, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, came to Bucknell in 1999.
Professor Toole has said that as a teacher and engineer, he wakes up every day knowing he has an opportunity to make the world a better place. He brings a liberal arts perspective to professional education through such courses as Exploring Engineering, The Human Side of Technology and a study-abroad course in Argentina called Engineering in a Global and Societal Context.
Students and faculty colleagues applaud his thoughtfulness and dedication not only as a classroom teacher, but also as a role model outside of class. He is a highly regarded undergraduate adviser and research mentor. Recently, he took the time to assist students who were designing a project to supply water to the remote village of El Porvenir, Nicaragua. As co-director of the Institute for Leadership in Technology and Management, he ensures that engineering and management students have access to high-quality career development.
For his inspiring role as both teacher and scholar, Bucknell is delighted to recognize Professor Michael Toole with the Class of 1956 Lectureship Award.
Presidential Awards for Teaching Excellence
Catherine Fowler Payn, associate professor of music, came to Bucknell 20 years ago.
As a nationally esteemed teacher of voice, she is dedicated both to the art form of voice and to her students, who consistently receive her steady guidance and thoughtful feedback. In addition to her coursework, Professor Payn directs the Bucknell Opera Company and manages all aspects of the annual production. Through countless hours of rehearsal and coaching, she sets rigorous standards for her students, teaching not simply voice and song, but also life lessons about the importance of precision and creativity.
As a result of her close attention, many of Professor Payn’s students go on to top graduate schools for music and sing with regional opera companies in the United States.
Bucknell is delighted to recognize Professor Catherine Payn with the 2009 Presidential Award for Teaching Excellence.
The second recipient of the Presidential Award for Teaching Excellence is Virginia Zimmerman, assistant professor of English.
Since Professor Zimmerman arrived at Bucknell in 2002, students have benefited from her expertise in Victorian literature, poetry and culture, young adult fiction and the 19th-century novel. Her colleagues call her an “innovative instructor” whose “students eagerly seek her classes and emerge from them with sharper minds and greater enthusiasm for the material.”
She developed the popular class Young Adult Fiction and practices a pedagogical technique she calls “kinesthetic learning,” through which she incorporates movement and rhythm into the teaching of poetry.
As a result of Professor Zimmerman’s teaching, she is a respected and sought-after adviser of undergraduate theses.
For her commitment to providing the best student experience possible, Bucknell is pleased to present Professor Virginia Zimmerman with the 2009 Presidential Award for Teaching Excellence.
The William Pierce Boger Jr. M.D. Award for Excellence in Teaching in the Natural Sciences
Jeffrey Trop, associate professor of geology, has received high praise for the excellent of his teaching in the classroom, laboratory and field, as well as his advising and supervision of student research.
Professor Trop, who came to Bucknell in 2000, teaches courses in the evolution of the earth, global change, paleontology and and has participated as a Senior Fellow in the Environmental Residential College.
He has said of his teaching: “It’s incredibly gratifying to take students out and show them how the Earth really works.”
He regularly teaches students through fieldwork analyzing the geology of Central Pennsylvania, New Mexico, North Carolina, Utah and Alaska.
Professor Trop has been called patient, proactive, dedicated and trustworthy. He gladly mentors students conducting research and routinely assists students with graduate school applications and job searches.
For his excellence in teaching in the natural sciences, Bucknell honors Professor Jeffrey Trop with the 2009 Boger Award.