Teaching Excellence Awards

 Year Awarded: 2006

Faculty Award winner

Kristin Congdon

 College of Arts and Humanities

 Film and Digital Media

Because I teach about art, film, aesthetics, and the humanities (with a focus on visual art), I feel blessed by having disciplines that make it easy for me to capture the attention of my audience. Everyone who can see, and even those who visualize only in their mind’s eye, can become engaged with images. The response is individual and cultural. As a teacher, it is my job to select a variety of images and pedagogical approaches to engage a student. Setting the stage or creating the context for each artwork has become increasingly important to me. I ask my students to engage in a dialogue with artwork in ways that answer questions relevant to them. This process often includes addressing topics that cross disciplines, involving issues of economics, race, class, gender, or one’s sexual or political orientation.

Having a joint appointment allows me to engage in more than one discipline, an opportunity that has enriched my teaching experience in that I have been able to apply one disciplinary way of seeing to another. It has also placed me in a position that challenges me as I teach students from a variety of disciplines. Teaching students in art, film, philosophy, humanities, and digital media means I have to work harder at what I do, but it also means that I gain from each new experience.