Office of the President
Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
27 May 2010
Dr. Linda Noble Associate Vice Chancellor for Faculty Affairs University System of Georgia Institute of Technology 270 Washington Street, SW Atlanta, GA 30334-1450
Dear Dr. Noble:
It is my distinct honor to nominate Dr. T. Hugh Crawford for the FY 2011 Regents’ Teaching Excellence Award. As the following documents will demonstrate, Hugh Crawford connects with students and inspires them well beyond the semester or the classroom.
Hugh is a faculty member in Georgia Tech’s School of Literature, Communication and Culture – teaching undergraduates (many of them engineering and science students) literature and writing. Rather than seeing the students’ analytical and empirical natures as obstacles to understanding literature, Hugh uses these as hooks to get the students truly engaged in nature of the works that they are studying. There are examples of this in the materials that follow – including having the students build a homeless shelter rather than just studying issues of the urban poor, getting them involved in volunteering with organizations serving the disabled, and most recently recreating Thoreau’s cabin using the tools and methods that Thoreau himself used. Throughout Hugh’s teaching, he ensures that course materials are situated in a very real context that has meaning for the students. As a result, the students are committed to learning and to following through at a level and depth that is rather extraordinary – it is clear, though, that this incredible commitment is matched by Hugh’s commitment to teaching and learning.
One of the inspiring indications of Hugh Crawford’s dedication to real learning of the Georgia Tech student body is the number of students who are not even enrolled in one of his classes who still engage in his learning activities. When the students were raising Thoreau’s cabin on campus, there were more than 50 individuals at the site assisting (and learning while doing so) – this for an activity that was tied to a class of no more than 15 enrolled students! There is a viral network of students who spread the word about the incredible experience of taking “a Crawford” – any course offered by Hugh, and even the students who are not lucky enough to sign up still join in the co-curricular activities at Hugh’s invitation.
In conclusion, Georgia Tech is very lucky to have such a committed, inspiring, and dedicated professor. It is even more extraordinary that this comes in the form of a literature teacher at a place that prides itself in its engineering curriculum and instruction. We are proud to be a place where our students can learn literature by hewing lumber and using hand tools to recreate Thoreau’s cabin, and then use cutting edge technological skills to help teach the community about this process.
Gary Schuster Provost & Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
G. P. “Bud” Peterson
Georgia Institute of Technology Atlanta, Georgia 30332-0325 U.S.A. PHONE 404-385-7590 FAX 404-894-1277
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