2007 Teaching Awards
Teacher of the Year
The first faculty award for outstanding teaching was
presented in 1977 in celebration of 100 years of engineering at Notre Dame.
According to students and University colleagues, on a daily basis this year’s
recipient, David T. Leighton Jr., professor of chemical and biomolecular
engineering, goes above and beyond what is “required.” Students
say he enlivens the classroom by incorporating unique demonstrations and
enriches their University experience by showing genuine concern for their
education. As one student said, “It is almost impossible to go into
his office, which is always open, and leave without having learned something.” Leighton
joined the University
University Teaching Awards
Formerly known as the Kaneb Teaching Award, the Rev. Edmund P. Joyce, C.S.C., Award for
Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching was presented to a total of 17 University
faculty this year. Among the honorees are two instructors from the College
of Engineering: Michael M. Stanisic, assistant professor of aerospace and
mechanical engineering, and Jeffrey W. Talley, professor of civil engineering
and geological sciences. The newly established award recognizes faculty who
have had a profound impact upon their students through teaching and mentoring.
It is funded by an endowment provided by the Class of 1937, of which Father
Joyce was a member, in honor of the 70th anniversary of his graduation.
joining the University in 1998, Stanisic has consistently demonstrated a
passion and aptitude for the creation of environments and experiences that
encourage young engineers. Students say he makes classes challenging, but
not unattainable. They also credit his enthusiasm for their continued interest
in the field of mechanical engineering.
According to his students, Talley
organizes and presents difficult material in a clear and concise manner.
They say he encourages them in their exploration of environmental bioengineering
by involving them in hands-on research. Since joining the University in 2001,
he has proved himself to be as dedicated to finding solutions to real-world
problems as he is to developing cutting-edge curriculum.
Also presented annually, the Ruth and Joel Spira Award for Excellence in Teaching
honors faculty members in the departments of electrical engineering and aerospace
and mechanical engineering. The award was established in May 2000 by Joel
Spira, the founder, chairman, and director of research of Lutron Electronics
and his wife, Ruth. They have funded similar awards at Carnegie
Mellon University, Cornell University, Lehigh University, Massachusetts Institute
of Technology, Pennsylvania State University, Purdue University, and the
year’s recipients are Thomas E. Fuja, professor and
chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering, and Robert C.
Nelson, professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering. Fuja,
whose research encompasses digital communi-cations, error control coding,
joint source-channel coding, and information theory, joined the University
in 1998. Nelson, who received a bachelor’s
(1964) and master’s (1966) degree in aerospace engineering from Notre
Dame, returned to the University as a faculty member in 1975. His research
interests include aircraft stability and control, fluid mechanics, and aerodynamics.