Levenson Prizes Awarded

Two faculty members and a teaching fellow were honored for their outstanding dedication to teaching undergraduates at the 10th Annual Levenson Awards Dinner in North House last night.

This year's recipients were Baird Professor of Science Edward O. Wilson, Assistant Professor of History Susan G. Pedersen and Teaching Fellow in History Robert D. Johnson.

The Joseph R. Levenson Memorial Teaching Prizes, established in memory of the late professor of Chinese history, recognize "specially skilled and dedicated teachers of undergraduate courses and sections." The awards are sponsored by the Leven- son family and the Undergraduate Council.

"I think the faculty needs to be recognized,"said Jon K. Hsu '94, co-chair of the UndergraduateCouncil's Academics Committee. "The essence ofundergraduate life at Harvard revolves around thedepth and quality of the teaching."

"What students remember is the professor whomakes the extra effort to get to know thempersonally, and those are the people who arenominated," said Brad W. Setser '93, a member ofthe Academics Committee. "It is the extra stepthat is remembered."

The Academics Committee reviewed all thenominations and selected the recipients.


Only Three Awards

Although only three awards were given out, allthe nominees and the students who nominated themwere invited to the festivities, according to MayaPrabhu '94, co-chair of the Academics Committee.More than 200 people attended the event.

Wilson, recipient of the "Outstanding SeniorFaculty Award," was honored for his "enthusiastic,entertaining and informative lectures and hisexceptional willingness to meet individually withhis students."

"I didn't feel like I was a nameless face inthe crowd but instead that he was actually talkingto me," one of his students said in nominatinghim.

While accepting his award, Wilson discussed"the agony of the Harvard professor," sayingresearch, publishing and teaching are constantlycompeting for a professor's time.

Wilson, who teaches Science B-15: "EvolutionaryBiology" also stressed the importance of thestudents in the learning process.

"Treating students as your equals--as youryoung colleagues--is one of the keys to teaching,"said Wilson. "Students are so full of promise thatyou become addicted to teaching."

Pedersen, professor of several courses oncontemporary British history, received the"Outstanding Junior Faculty Award." Her studentscited her well planned lectures, innovativeassignments and efforts to address her students'"personal and academic concerns" outside of theclassroom as reasons for nominating her.

"Susan Pedersen is the only one of my historyprofessors who still stops to say hello to me whenwe meet in the street, over a year after I was inher class," said one of the students who nominatedher. "It is not surprising that she inspireslong-lasting respect and affection in herstudents."

Johnson, the recipient of the "OutstandingTeaching Fellow Award," is a teaching fellow forseveral core and history department classes.

"He makes a point to get to know his studentsand is always exceptionally well prepared," saidone of his students