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Professors Named Fellows, Classrooms on Exhibit

By Marissa Vogt

ASSOCIATE NEWS EDITOR

Five new MacVicar Faculty Fellows will be announced today as part of the twelfth annual MacVicar Day, an event that focuses on undergraduate education.

The five new fellows, recognized as outstanding professors, are Peter Child (Department of Music), Isabelle de Courtivron (Department of Foreign Languages and Literature), Jesus A. del Alamo (Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science), Barbara Imperiali (Department of Chemistry), and Ian A. Waitz (Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics). The public announcement will be made by Provost Robert A. Brown at a formal ceremony at the MIT Corporate luncheon.

MacVicar Day is MIT’s “annual opportunity to focus on undergraduate education,” according to the program’s Web site. This year’s program, entitled “Places for Learning: New Classrooms/ New Teaching and Learning,” will highlight the relationship between effective educational methods and innovative classrooms, according to the Web site.

Professors honored by award

“The MacVicar Faculty Fellow program has not only honored many wonderful and successful teachers, but it has also inspired many around the Institute to place even more importance on providing the best possible education for our students," said Dean for Undergraduate Education Robert P. Redwine in a press release.

This year’s fellows, Redwine said, “are exemplars of our dedicated and talented faculty. They join an esteemed group of colleagues.”

Professor Peter Child said that he was “immensely gratified by the news of [the] MacVicar Faculty Fellowship.” In a press release, he said, “I know, from having been on the nominating side of it, that it represents a vote of confidence from students and colleagues.”

This year’s fellows were described by students and colleagues as passionately dedicated and enthusiastic about their subjects. They enhance “the way we teach and, more importantly, the way students learn,” and will “revolutionize engineering education,” said colleagues in a press release.

Fellows chosen for teaching style

Professors are nominated to be MacVicar Fellows each October by students and faculty. Awards are based on the professors’ teaching style, accomplishments, and innovation, and professors remain fellows for a ten-year period. All tenured faculty are eligible for the faculty fellowship, and junior faculty are eligible for three-year fellowships until tenure is granted.

The fellows are given an annual allowance to help develop methods to enrich the undergraduate educational experience. The first MacVicar Fellows were named in 1992, and current fellows meet six times each year to discuss methods of enhancing the undergraduate educational experience.

MacVicar Day is held in memory of Margaret MacVicar, founder of the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) and former Dean for Undergraduate Education.

In addition to the announcement of the five new fellows, the day will include a presentation from William J. Mitchell, dean of the School of Architecture and Planning, about new learning environments at MIT. The presentation will take place in 10-250 from 3-4 p.m. and will be followed by open houses of six newly renovated, innovative classrooms from 4-5:30 p.m. Among the rooms that will be exhibited is 26-152, the classroom used for 8.02 with Technology Enabled Active Learning.

More information about the program can be found on its Web site, http://web.mit.edu/provost/macvicar/macvicarday.html.