Sanford Professors Recognized for Excellence in Teaching

Five Sanford professors have been recognized for their excellence in teaching and academic research.

Helen (Sunny) Ladd, Edgar T. Thompson Distinguished Professor of Public Policy and Professor of Economics, has been selected as the Duke University Scholar/Teacher of the Year Award recipient for 2012.  Judith Kelley, associate professor of public policy and political science, has been appointed to an endowed chair in the Bass Program for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.

Helen LaddThe University Scholar/Teacher of the Year Award is given by the Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church to a faculty member for “dedication and contributions to the learning arts and to the institution.” The deans of each affiliated school nominate a candidate. The Duke University committee proposed Ladd “because she embodies the stated selection criteria in terms of exceptional teaching, concern for students and colleagues, sensitivity to the mission of Duke, record of scholarly contributions and commitment to high standards of professional and personal life.”

Kelley was named a Bass Fellow and the Kevin D. Gorter Associate Professor of Public Policy.  Kelley directs the Sanford School Honors Program, a series of courses and mentoring which guides undergraduates who choose to  research and write an honors thesis.

The Bass Fellows chairs were created in 1996 when Anne T. and Robert Bass gave $10 million as a matching gift to the university. Bass Professors hold the chairs for five-year terms and also become lifetime members of the Bass Society of Fellows. Previous Sanford School faculty members who have held a Bass chair include James Hamilton, Robert Korstad and Gunther Peck.

Charles S. Sydnor Professor of Public Policy, Professor of Political Science and Professor of Economics James Hamilton  is the 2012 recipient of the Sanford School’s Susan E. Tifft Undergraduate Teaching and Mentoring Award. His teaching exemplifies hands-on, integrated learning and students consistently rate his courses very highly, said Ken Rogerson, who presented the award at the school’s graduation ceremony on May 12. Over the last 15 years, Hamilton has mentored 73 students though honors theses, master’s projects and independent studies. Students praised Hamilton for providing the perfect blend of mentoring – enough guidance to help them succeed, but not too much.

Professor of Public Policy and Director of the MPP Graduate Program Elizabeth Frankenberg was honored at graduation with the the 2012 Richard A. Stubbing Graduate Teaching/Mentoring Award. This award recognizes outstanding contributions to the teaching mission of the graduate programs of the Sanford School, including the MPP, the MIDP, and the PhD programs. It also recognizes deep commitment to the intellectual, professional and personal development of graduate students. Frankenberg is stepping down as director of the MPP program and on July 1 will become Associate Dean for Academic Programs at the Sanford School.

A visiting professor of public policy and affiliate of the Duke Global Health Institute, Catherine Admay was overwhelmingly nominated by students for making a lasting impression on their education in global health.  Her students refer to her as superwoman, a great teacher but an even greater person, creative, passionate, encouraging, the quintessential example of a professor who sees student learning and intellectual development as going hand-in-hand. They say she empowers students to effect change and equips them to do so. Her students call this “The Admay Effect.”

“The passion and energy of our students is nurtured and strengthened by our faculty,” said Michael Merson, founding director of DGHI. “I am proud to present my colleagues … with a special award to honor their hard work, dedication and commitment to our students.”