2009 Magellan Circle Teaching Award Winners Named

The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS) at The University of Arizona named the three recipients of the 2009 Magellan Circle Teaching Awards.

The awards are funded by donations from Magellan Circle members. The Magellan Circle, SBS's donor society, supports the Dean's Fund for Excellence, which not only sponsors teaching awards but also student scholarships and faculty and student research projects. Membership begins at $1,000 annually.

The teaching award recipients were honored at the May 15th SBS convocation ceremony at the Tucson Convention Center.

This year's recipients of the SBS Magellan Teaching Awards are:

Christine Dykgraaf, instructor, Near Eastern studies
SBS Magellan Circle Award for Lower Division Instruction

Shortly after joining the Near Eastern studies department in 2003, Christine Dykgraaf assumed the duties of undergraduate advisor. Dykgraaf teaches “Middle Eastern Humanities,” a core UA General Education course that has enrollments of 500-700 students a year, with Dykgraaf supervising 10 to 16 teaching assistants a semester.

“Ms. Dykgraaf’s teaching evaluations, comments from students and my first-hand knowledge of her pedagogy were from the start high, positive and creative,” said Michael Bonine, professor and head of the Near Eastern studies department.“Christine consistently goes beyond any “normal” teaching role in advising and mentoring students by spending time and energy to help undergraduates in her courses grasp the curricula in a meaningful way.”

Dana Mastro, associate professor, communication
SBS Magellan Circle Award for Upper Division Instruction

Dana Mastro is the director of graduate studies for the communication department. Her work documents depictions of race/ethnicity on television (Latinos, in particular) and assesses the extent to which viewing influences stereotyping and racial/ethnic cognitions. She is currently examining food marketing to Latino children on television. Mastro teaches classes in mass communication; media theory; communication theory; research methods; and media, race/ethnicity and stereotyping.

“I can attest to the fact that Dana is a perfect model of an instructor who maintains high standards in her classes, who is impeccably fair in her teaching, and yet maintains the respect and admiration of her students,” said Chris Segrin, professor and head of the communication department.

“My experience in Dana’s class led me to pursue a graduate degree in communication and to aspire to be a dedicated teacher myself,” said Michelle Ortiz, who will be an assistant professor at Ohio State University this fall. “Dana demonstrates her dedication to her undergraduate students by creating a constructive, open environment where students take an active role in learning the material.”

Laura Briggs, associate professor and head, women’s studies
SBS Magellan Circle Award for Graduate Instruction

Laura Briggs is the author of “Reproducing Empire: Race, Sex, Science, and U.S. Imperialism in Puerto Rico” and is currently working on a book on transnational and transracial adoption.

Briggs’ commitment to graduate education was demonstrated in her chairing the committee that developed the women’s studies Ph.D. program. “She was forceful, persistent and effective in achieving that goal,” says fellow professors Liz Lapovsky Kennedy and Judy Nolte Temple.

“There is no way to convey the depth of Dr. Briggs’ commitment to her students or the revolutionary experience of being in her classroom,” said graduate students Mari Galup and Erin Durban.