Awards & Special Initiatives
Awards & Honors
On January 6, 2006 the American Historical Association awarded the William Gilbert Award to Mark C. Carnes, Professor of History at Barnard. The Gilbert Award, for the best article on teaching history, was for Carnes's essay, "Inciting Speech," in Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning (March/April 2005).
Barnard College won the 2004 Hesburgh Award for Reacting to the Past, its innovative first-year seminar program that has been adopted by scores of colleges nationwide. It was viewed as a national model for excellence in undergraduate teaching by nine judges with highly distinguished backgrounds in higher education who reviewed the entries and unanimously selected Reacting to the Past as the winner.
Established in 1993 by the TIAA-CREF to recognize faculty development programs that enhance undergraduate teaching and learning, the Hesburgh Award is named in honor of Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, president emeritus of the University of Notre Dame. It includes a $30,000 cash prize.
Barnard President Judith Shapiro accepted the award on March 1, 2004 at the annual meeting of the American Council on Education in Miami, Fla., joined by Provost Elizabeth Boylan and Professor Carnes.
"We are truly honored to accept the Hesburgh Award and proud to be recognized for this creative initiative to help our students more fully understand civilizations and peoples far different from their own," said Shapiro, a cultural anthropologist. "It is exactly this kind of breakthrough that can and should do so much to renew our fractured world." She added: "Through his brilliant and innovative work, Mark Carnes has blazed a new path to help college students engage with classic texts. And the results speak for themselves. Reacting to the Past makes students more sophisticated writers, speakers, and thinkers. Professor Carnes has succeeded beyond our imagining."
"We are proud to honor Barnard College for its innovation in undergraduate teaching and its long tradition of excellence in liberal arts and sciences education for women," said Herbert M. Allison, Jr., Chairman, President and CEO of TIAA-CREF. "Our company's service to higher education affords us the opportunity to recognize the truly innovative work being done on campuses and in classrooms."
(Judges for the Hesburgh Award include: Dr. David Alexander, President Emeritus, Pomona College; Dr. Hans Brisch, Chancellor Emeritus, Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education; Dr. K. Patricia Cross, Professor of Higher Education, Emerita, University of California, Berkeley; Dr. Vera King Farris; President Emerita & Distinguished Professor, The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey; Dr. Juliet Garcia, President, University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College, Dr. Margaret A. Miller, Professor, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia; Dr. Terry O'Banion, President Emeritus & Senior League Fellow, League for Innovation in the Community College; Dr. Kenneth A. Shaw, Chancellor and President, Syracuse University; Mr. H. Patrick Swygert, President, Howard University.)
The Reacting Consortium, in collaboration with The Endeavor Foundation, held its Third and Final Challenge Grant Workshop in coordination with the Reacting Winter Conference at the University of Georgia, January 12-14, 2018. We awarded the final six mini-grants, each for $7500, to colleges and universities that sought to develop and implement curriculum innovations that use Reacting to the Past, a proven high impact learning pedagogy. The grants enabled institutional teams of at least five faculty and administrators to attend a conference focused on learning about curriculum revision and experiencing Reacting to the Past games, and to use the remaining funds to support the development of their curriculum projects on their own campuses.
In September 2009, The National Science Foundation awarded a Phase 2 "Course, Curriculum, and Laboratory Improvement" grant to a consortium of schools including Barnard College, Trinity College, Elon University, and James Madison University to develop and assess short RTTP science games. Short RTTP games involve 2 or at most 3 class periods of student game play, plus required setup and post-mortem.
The goals of the project include:
- Assessment of the development and evaluation of more RTTP game materials suitable for inclusion in science classes
- Assessment of the effectiveness of RTTP science games in students’ acquisition of content knowledge and in changing attitudes toward science in general
- Strengthening of the RTTP infrastructure to promote the flow of information among RTTP game designers and STEM educators
- Dissemination of the pedagogy widely among both science educators and non-STEM faculty to encourage the adoption of RTTP science games within their general education programs
In May 2007, Barnard College was awarded $100,000 from the Teagle Foundation to support a general education initiative directed by Professor Mark C. Carnes. A subset of institutions in the "Reacting to the Past" Consortium--Barnard College, Drake University, Loras College, Queens College (CUNY), Smith College, Trinity College (CT), University of Georgia, and University of Texas at Austin--will develop ways to construct and implement a coherent general education curriculum based on the "Reacting to the Past" pedagogy. The project will assemble four working groups of faculty to address curriculum design and implementation issues. A final White Paper will provide the foundation for a "Reacting" general education curriculum, as well as an outline for future curriculum development and faculty training opportunities. More generally it will serve as a model for engaged pedagogy that can be adapted to various institutional and curricular contexts.
During the initial planning phase, project staff organized a two-day working meeting of the Reacting Advisory Board, held in conjunction with the annual “Reacting” conference at Barnard College in June 2007. Drawing on Derek Bok’s Our Underachieving Colleges (2006), the AAC&U report College Learning for the New Global Century (2007), and other current resources on liberal/general education, the board identified two sets of liberal education outcomes around which their working groups would be organized: (1) critical thinking and communication skills and (2) the moral and political person. Based on these discussions, project staff constructed a revised work plan that included additional working group meetings and a schedule of benchmarks for drafting and revising the White Paper.
Phase I (2007-2008) activities focused primarily on the compilation of an annotated bibliography on liberal education and particular learning outcomes, which were rev at the 2008 Annual Conference at Barnard College. In concert with a series of sessions on general education at the conference, the board formally solicited feedback on their drafts from faculty in the broader “Reacting” network. Enlivening the discussion was much information on the diverse challenges and best practices faculty have experienced as they worked to implement “Reacting” games into their particular institutions’ general education curricula. In addition, the board held informal meetings with faculty interested in designing new games.
Phase II (2008-09) activities included an expansion of the general education handbook and a request for new game proposals to expand the "Reacting" curriculum.
- Download the essay "Intellectual Rationale: Toward Engaged Pedagogy"
- Download White Paper Report, "Reacting to the Past: A New Approach to Student Engagement and to Enhancing General Education"
Barnard College, in partnership with the Harlem Education Activities Fund (HEAF), implemented a twelve-week academic program for college-bound HEAF high-school students. HEAF@Barnard was designed to demonstrate the breadth and richness of a liberal arts education, while fostering students' creativity, skills, and confidence as they move forward on their own paths toward college.
About the Harlem Education Activities Fund (HEAF)
HEAF, an educational and youth development organization, helps highly motivated youth from educationally and/or economically disadvantaged communities in Harlem and Washington Heights develop the intellectual and life skills necessary to achieve their full potential. HEAF provides crucial enrichment activities for students in the "forgotten middle," those who qualify neither for remedial nor extremely competitive programs in their schools. These students consistently perform at grade level, yet too often their demonstrated success does not lead to post-secondary academic achievement. HEAF identifies and recruits promising students from this forgotten middle, and challenges them with a range of academic and social enrichment activities aimed at expanding students' analytical and critical reasoning skills, civic potential and life-long commitment to emotional well-being and intellectual pursuits.
From 2006-2008, 70 HEAF high-school students attended HEAF@Barnard. The pilot program consisted of several distinct academic components:
- A nine-week seminar exploring The Threshold of Democracy: Athens in 403 B.C., part of Barnard's award-winning, student-centered "Reacting to the Past" curriculum. The adaptation for high school students will feature four writing and library research skills-building workshops taught by College librarians and Writing Program faculty, as well as weekly peer-mentoring;
- Additional lectures in anthropology, art history, classics, and political science led by Barnard faculty;
- Cultural enrichment activities including theatre performance; and
- Close interactions with various faculty.
This project was funded by a College-Community Connections grant from the Teagle Foundation.