Dean of Freshmen Thomas A. Dingman ’67 received the first Freshman Advising Award at the Teaching and Advising Awards Dinner co-hosted by the Undergraduate Council and the Advising Programs Office on Wednesday evening.
The award, established through UC legislation last academic year, was created to incentivize better freshman advising.
“I am deeply honored to receive this award because it is a testament to how far our advising system has come,” Dingman said. “Harvard has world-class faculty and superb libraries and laboratories, but strong advising and mentoring is what truly sets it apart.”
Representatives also announced that they would be renaming the prize the “Thomas Dingman Award for Freshman Advising” in honor of its first recipient.
“We deliberated on the nominees and [the choice] was clear to all of us,” said UC Winthrop House Representative Phillip Z Yao ’13. “This is our small way of acknowledging all that Dean Dingman has done for the freshman class.”
Award nominees and the students who nominated them were invited to a commemorative dinner hosted in Dunster House Dining Hall yesterday. The UC Education Committee, headed by Vice Chairs Darragh Nolan ’15 and Terah E. Lyons ’14, organized the sit-down dinner for the guests.
“The best thing about this evening is that we do not just honor the people who win,” UC Education Committee Chair Samuel F. Himel ’12 said. “All the nominees and students are invited, and it is a chance to celebrate the efforts of all these people.”
Like the John R. Marquand Award for Exceptional Advising and Counseling of Harvard Students, the new award includes a prize of $500 for the winning recipient.
During the dinner, engineering sciences associate professor Marko Loncar, who received the Joseph R. Levenson Memorial Teaching Prize, sat next to his teaching fellow and fellow award recipient Abishai J. Vase ’12. The two were surrounded by a table of students who had nominated them for the Levenson Prize for their course, Engineering Sciences 50: Introduction to Electrical Engineering. Traditionally, the Levenson Prize is awarded to one senior faculty member, one junior faculty member, and one teaching fellow.
“Abishai would stay in the basement of Lamont Library until early morning so that everyone would not only finish their homework but also understand it entirely,” said Johnathan M. Budd ’15 when presenting the award to Vase.
Vase returned to the microphone a few minutes later to present the Levenson Prize for senior faculty to Loncar. Vase noted that Loncar always took the time to get to know his teaching fellows and students.
“For us, what really matters is the care professor Loncar shows for both the content and the students,” Vase said. “He constantly bugs us for more ways to meet his students.”
The Levenson Prize for junior faculty was awarded to expository writing preceptor Jerusha T. Achterberg.
The UC received a total of 155 nominations for teaching and advising awards this year. Of these, eight received distinctions.
The Marquand Award was awarded to Eliot House Tutor Ryan D. Rippel, Assistant Director for Undergraduate Studies in Biomedical Engineering Sujata K. Bhatia, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations Teaching Fellow Leonard Wood, and Peer Advising Fellow Kirkpatrick B. Fergus ’12.
—Staff writer Michelle Denise L. Ferreol can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.