Loyola University Chicago

Faculty Center for Ignatian Pedagogy

Fall 2014

Award Recipients

Faculty Awardee

Department

Award Name

Daniel Amick Anthropology The Provost's Award for Excellence in Teaching Freshmen
Andrew Harrington Computer Science The Provost's Award for Excellence in Teaching Freshmen
Molly Melin Political Science The Provost's Award for Excellence in Teaching Freshmen

Daniel Amick

Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology

The Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching Freshmen

Daniel’s commitment to experiential, lifelong learning has enriched the lives of Loyola students since he began teaching at the University in 1995. His enthusiasm for service-based learning, as well as his understanding of the unique challenges faced by first-year students, have allowed him to build meaningful connections and attend to students’ diverse learning needs.

Daniel is a strong advocate for the Jesuit philosophy of homines pro aliis, or “men and women for others.”  Through this dedication, he helped to create the student-run service organization Loyola Refugee Outreach, and launched the Refugee Resettlement course, which bridges the gap between first-year and more experienced learners through peer-mentoring opportunities.  He also invests in first-year students, and has many stories of serving as a mentor throughout students’ time at Loyola and beyond to graduate school and professional life.

In commenting on his work with students, Daniel described one student currently finishing a fully-funded graduate program. He recalls that he encouraged her to volunteer in his archaeology lab during her first week of classes. “Through strange serendipity, she has followed my own path of scholarship. The depth of that particular student-mentor connection transcends all because it began in her very first week on campus and continues today. It demonstrates the potential power of mentoring and connecting with first-year students.”

Daniel received his PhD from the University of New Mexico in 1994 and was the 2013 recipient of the Outstanding Community Service and Volunteer Award from the Ethiopian Community Association of Chicago.

Andrew Harrington

Associate Professor, Computer Science Department

The Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching Freshmen

Andrew approaches teaching by recognizing that education goes beyond academic subject matter. He is committed to fostering the growth of his students, and utilizes innovative teaching methods to encourage engagement in all levels of experience.  This approach is particularly beneficial for first-year students as they acclimate to the university environment.

Since Computer Science is a field that touches multiple disciplines and service areas, he understands the importance of learning about his students’ interests, aspirations, and learning methods. He gets to know his students as individuals, and then empowers them to make contributions using their specialized knowledge base while instilling passion for the service of others. As he states, I love to spend most of my time engaging with individual students and small groups. I work with many students who start off very confused and often intimidated with the material. As I help them work through their challenges…it is a joy when that ‘light bulb flashes on’ and a student gets it.”

Andrew received his PhD in Mathematics from Stanford University in 1976 and has served Loyola University Chicago as Associate Professor since 1983.

Molly Melin

Assistant Professor, Political Science

The Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching Freshmen

Molly understands the vital importance of adapting her teaching style to meet the needs of a diverse student population. Her goals in the classroom include creating a dynamic learning environment, encouraging students to think critically, and integrating the processes of research and teaching. She is always discovering new ways to connect current events and foreign policy issues with theories and ideas from the coursework, thereby dramatically improving student engagement. As she states: “as a faculty member, it is often easy to allow students to drift in and out of our classroom with very little personal connection. I strive to make that personal connection, as students are only like to gain passion for the materials we teach if we exude passion for both the material and our students.”

In her efforts to break down barriers between research and teaching, she encourages her students to participate in the broader research community. This process helps the students to better grasp the world of the social sciences and make connections in the field. She is also a devoted mentor to her students, constantly striving to guide them toward academic and professional success.

Molly earned her PhD in Political Science from the University of California, Davis in 2008, and has been published in Conflict Management and Peace Science, International Studies Quarterly, and other peer-reviewed publications. She has served Loyola University Chicago as Assistant Professor in the Political Science Department since 2008.