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Professors Named MacVicar Fellows

By Venkatesh Satish
Associate News Editor

Seven professors were named MacVicar Faculty Fellows for excellence in teaching and contributions to undergraduate education. President Charles M. Vest and Provost Mark S. Wrighton announced the appointments at a luncheon Friday.

Those honored this year are: Professors of Physics Wit Busza and Thomas J. Greytak '62; Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics Paul A. Lagace '78; Professor Margery Resnick of the foreign languages and literature section of the humanities department; Professor of Materials Science and Engineering Donald R. Sadoway; Professor Arthur Steinberg of the anthropology and archaeology section of the humanities department; and Professor Marcus A. Thompson of the music and theater arts section of the humanities department.

Selection as a MacVicar Faculty Fellow is a recognition "of exceptional and creative contributions, with emphasis on recent and current activities," Wrighton said at the Friday luncheon.

The MacVicar Faculty Fellows Program was established in 1991 to honor Margaret L. A. MacVicar '65, MIT's first dean for undergraduate education.

Wrighton made the appointments with advice from a committee composed of faculty members and students.

Wit Busza

From the nominations: Few faculty members are so dedicated to excellence in undergraduate education as Professor Busza. He combines classroom excellence with a willingness to grapple with the broader and sometimes difficult educational issues facing the Institute.

He has led in the development of the new small-class format for [Physics I (8.01)], a format that provides freshman with a better transition to MIT. Efforts of this sort are essential to maintaining the vitality of education at MIT.

Thomas J. Greytak '62

Greytak was honored for his work on Physics III (8.03), including the development of a take-home experimental component and the use of computer graphics to illustrate physics equations.

According to the nominations: He makes his material interesting to a diverse group of students without compromising his very high standards. As a lecturer, he is organized, smooth, and very attentive

"I knew Margaret [MacVicar] since we were students together. I knew first-hand her commitment to undergraduate education," Greytak said.

Paul A. Lagace '78

Lagace teaches Structural Mechanics (16.20), and has added real-life situations to the course. Students in the course "had to design the aft section of a fuselage, and I got the students to work in teams and do presentations to try to incorporate what you do in in the real world," he said.

From the nominations: His overwhelming enthusiasm about the material makes the class both interesting and enjoyable. By continuously involving the students in his lectures, he makes the learning process more personable.

"Ever since I've been a faculty member here, teaching has been important to me," Lagace said.

Margery Resnick

From the nominations: Over the years she has inspired hundreds of students to read and think seriously about matters of language, history, ethics, literary value, and comparative cultural meaning. She is always there for students, helping them to build confidence and solve problems.

During her career at MIT, Resnick has been involved in the creation of many aspects of the Spanish literature curriculum, as well as being one of the founders of Women's Studies at MIT.

"I feel like I'm blessed because I love doing what I do." Resnick said. "Everything people do in a way that is connected to teaching can be thought of as a part of [Dean MacVicar's] legacy."

Donald R. Sadoway

"I find it particularly gratifying [to be named a MacVicar fellow] because it means some of my colleagues felt enough about me to nominate me," said Sadoway, a long-time instructor of Introduction to Solid State Chemistry (3.091).

From the nominations: His contributions are enormous and the class is in rapt attention from beginning to end. His lectures are highly articulate yet animated and he has uncommon grace and style. He is truly an exceptional lecturer.

Arthur Steinberg

From the nominations: He has great dedication, skill, and effectiveness as a teacher. His openness and receptivity to students are renowned. Over and over students say they feel nurtured by Arthur, both in class and informal interactions.

Steinberg, in addition to teaching Decline of Empires (21A561) and Religion and Science: Ideas of the World Order (21A213J), is the director of the Integrated Studies Program.

The program "is devoted to freshman and teaching them in a novel way. ISP focuses on technologies and cultures, with hands-on components and workshops," said Steinberg.

Marcus A. Thompson

From the nominations: He is single-handedly responsible for the development of the extraordinary performance arm of the music curriculum. The Chamber Music Program which he initiated is traditionally oversubscribed and the competition to gain admission is fierce.

It was through his persistence and ultimate guidance that the dream of new music practice rooms in Building 4 was realized. His vision and imagination have provided MIT students with the highest quality undergraduate education in music and this has resulted in a vibrant and competitive program in music performance that rivals many music schools.