Prof. Groves Receives Teaching Award

December 22nd, 2020

Congratulations to Professor Robert Groves, who is a recipient of the 2020 Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Classics at the College Level! This award is conferred by the Society for Classical Studies (SCS), the North American professional society for Classics. 

Each year, the SCS gives one to three awards for excellence in the teaching of Classics to faculty selected from colleges and universities throughout the United States and Canada.

The official citation reads:

“Gaius Fabius send greetings to his father. I must say that I was at first excited to see my first munera, but I quickly became disenchanted with them ... ” The above is not a quote from some ancient missive, but reflects the type of response a student of Dr. Robert Groves at the University of Arizona might write for his “Letters from the Past” assignment, designed to immerse every student in the world of the Greeks and Romans. Passion for our subject matter is something all Classicists share, but the ability to reach and engage every student is both a natural gift and a studied skill, one that Dr. Robert Groves abundantly embodies. He is an innovator in both his face-to-face and online classes, judiciously using technology and varied assignments to involve and assess his students, through collaborative learning, creative projects, peer review, and low stakes formative assessments specifically designed for skill development. Dr. Groves wants his students to know the “why” of an assignment, and from the syllabus to final grades, his students can rely on his unerring guidance and support. His approach incentivizes their full involvement in their own learning process. His students are inspired, not only by his course material but also by Dr. Groves’ teaching style. One student remarks that he is “dedicated above all else to making students feel successful, even when they may be struggling.” His teaching evaluations are replete with the usual expected comments about his enthusiasm and energy in the classroom, but also with many expressions of appreciation for his assignments, both for their variety and for the way in which they draw students into the material. Dr. Groves describes teaching as an iterative process, and at the end of each semester he assesses each of his courses and annotates its syllabus, noting where he might improve the class with new techniques, approaches, or assignments. The results are clear: courses and instruction that truly reflect the consummate skill of a master teacher. We are honored to recognize Dr. Robert Groves for his outstanding teaching with the SCS’s 2020 Award for Excellence in Teaching of the Classics at the College Level.