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The Art of Teaching

Congratulations to Art History Professor Mary Hollinshead, recipient of the Archaeological Institute of America’s 2012 Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award.

“I learned by osmosis,” she said, noting that her mother taught first and second graders and later taught children with learning disabilities: “We used to have many talks about teaching and modes of learning.”

Hollinshead was surprised to win the award: “I expect a lot from my students, but I see that as a matter of respect. That said, I also provide whatever support they need.”

Her current and former students sing her praises. Donald Rodrigues ’00, M.A. ’11, a teaching assistant in the English Department, said Hollinshead played a vital role in shaping and directing his academic and post-academic life.

“I often look to her each time I spot a promising, shy student sitting in the back row of my class. Mary has shown me that teaching is a political act in the truest and best sense of the term. It is a daily opportunity to challenge, engage, and empower even the least likely of minds, regardless of what major they choose upon exiting the classroom.”

Samantha Henneberry ’08, a graduate student in the History of Art Department at the University of California Berkeley, said: “Mary makes the past available to everyone, encouraging her students to see the study of ancient Greek and Roman art—which many see as out of reach, strictly traditional, or exclusive—as a field full of possibilities and open to anyone with a passion. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it were not for Mary’s encouragement, mentorship, and friendship.”

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