REL loves to recognize award winners (have you seen our recent Honors Day post?), and so congratulations are in order for our own Prof. Theodore Trost, who was recently named as a College of Arts & Sciences Distinguished Teaching Fellow. Ted is only the second REL professor to be given this honor since the award was established in 1986.
Two Arts & Sciences Distinguished Teaching Fellows are appointed each year, in recognition of their teaching contributions to the College. The appointment lasts for three years, during which time the Fellows take an active role in enhancing the pedagogy across Arts & Sciences. Along with his regular teaching, Prof. Trost — who came to REL from Harvard in 1998 and who also holds a quarter-time cross-appointment in New College — will begin this Fall to assist faculty across the College to reflect on their teaching and the changing environment of college classrooms.
The Department nominated Prof. Trost for this award in recognition of his longtime passion for teaching, deep concern for students and colleagues, and ability to help students develop their own analytical skills. In the classroom he regularly engages diverse groups of students in productive discussions on topics ranging from interpretations of biblical texts to the analysis of films and music — topics that can both challenge student preconceptions about the place and role of religion today.
His work with students has extended far beyond the classroom, as he has served over various periods as the formal academic advisor in the Department, as a mentor for a number of students (encouraging them to develop their academic abilities, pursue their interests at UA, and continue learning after graduation), and he also served as Chair of the Department (2009-2013).
The best testaments to his distinguished teaching are the letters from alumni who attest to the various ways that they developed with the assistance of Prof. Trost.
So if you see Prof. Trost on the second floor balconies, be sure to say “Congrats!”