Dr. David Christenson Wins UA Graduate Teaching and Mentoring Award

May 3rd, 2013
 
 The University of Arizona held its annual Awards of Distinction Ceremony on
 Monday, April 29. Each year, five faculty members are honored as the
 recipients of the university's most distinguished awards. Dr. David Christenson
 was a winner of the 2013 Graduate & Professional Education Teaching &
 Mentoring Award, for which he received $2,500, a medallion and a plaque, and
 will have his portrait posted with those of previous winners on the UA Graduate
 College’s "Wall of Fame” in the Student Union. Several Classics graduate
 students, Interim Head Norman Austin, and Dr. Cynthia White, who nominated
 Christenson for the award, attended the ceremonial luncheon hosted by UA
 Provost Dr. Andrew Comrie.
 
 These are just a few comments from the nomination packet (50pp.) submitted
 for the award, which included letters of support from current and former
 graduate students, many of whom are now professors, doctoral students, and
 teachers:
 
"Learning from Prof. Christenson is especially valuable, first, because he has such a wealth of knowledge about all aspects of the subject matter, and, second, because he is so approachable. The combined effect of these is that I can come to him with any question or comment about Roman literature or the Greek and Latin languages, and come away feeling that I have had a satisfying intellectual discussion. In addition, Prof. Christenson has provided opportunities to all his students to engage in the scholarly activity of reviewing articles submitted for publication. Thus, he prepares his students not only to pass courses and exams, but also to completely engage in the activities expected of professional scholars."
 

L. to R.: Evelyn Rick, Boris Shoshitaishvili, Norman Austin, David Cristenson, Vishal Ganesan, Sean Tulley, Cynthia White, Marissa Gurtler, Stefania Mitzithras
 
"Students seek him out because it is clear that he cherishes the intellectual give and take with them and watching them grow into critical thinkers, persuasive writers, and good citizens. They seek him out because he is a natural mentor: he strives to let them discover their own answers and, better yet, formulate their own questions, offering a patient but lively guidance. They seek him out at every stage of formulating, pursuing, and evaluating a line of inquiry. They seek him out for all things related to their continued graduate work at the Ph.D. level, and in their careers in Classics and related fields. Most of all, they seek him out to engage with the ideas of antiquity, which are the fundamental aspects of human existence, and in doing so they find their own intellectual paths."
 
"His written feedback is invaluable. Being a Classicist, he is, as part of the trade, an incredibly careful and close reader, but his dedication to educating and mentoring his students manifests in edits that are not merely precise but thought-provoking. He takes time to discuss your work and his comments with you, listening and making sure that the suggestions he puts forward are understood before they are accepted: this is a type of editing that genuinely improves a scholar’s writing."