Professors from Converse College, Limestone College, Spartanburg Methodist College and Wofford Collage are among the recipients of Excellence in Teaching awards that were presented April 13 in Columbia by South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities Inc. They are Dr. Mirko Manfred Hall, assistant professor of German studies at Converse; Gabriel Stoeppler, associate professor of accounting, at Limestone; Dr. Jack Williams, English professor at SMC; and Dr. Caroline A. Cunningham, professor of French and Spanish at Wofford.
Dr. Mirko Hall is an assistant professor of German studies and teaches all levels of German language, literature and culture. He also teaches Modern Standard Arabic. His research interests revolve around 18th and 20th century German literature, philosophy and music. Hall recently has published on music and philosophy in Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies and Eighteenth-Century Studies. In January 2009, he taught an advanced seminar on the iPod as a technology of the Self at the University of Iceland in Reykjavík.
Hall is known for his dynamic approach to student learning, bringing high levels of excitement to language classes. As his department chair wrote, “for him, the classroom is a stage that he uses to instruct, discuss, amuse, encourage and convey to his students the excitement of learning, while using the most advanced technology to date. His students, in turn, join him on the stage, explore and debate the material, appropriate it and learn. His dynamic and effective teaching energizes the students from beginning to end.”
Hall is working on “Listening in the State of Emergency,” a book that explores the nexus of listening subjectivity and critical theory in modernity. Originally from the Twin Cities, he received his bachelor of arts degree with highest honors, master’s and Ph.D. in German studies from the University of Minnesota. As a Fulbright Fellow, he also studied philosophy and musicology at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.
“Mirko Hall teaches difficult, demanding subjects with an élan that delights students and makes them want to learn,” says Dr. Jeffrey Barker, vice president for academic affairs at Converse. “He is an outstanding teacher who links his subject to the world encountered by his students, and a highly successful scholar who crosses disciplinary boundaries on a daily basis.”
Each of the 20 member institutions of the SCICU consortium selects one faculty member each year to receive the award, which includes a professional development stipend for the professor. Each recipient is chosen by his or her institution according to rigorous criteria. The most important characteristic of the nominees is their demonstration of the highest standards in teaching methods that encourage students to strive for excellence in their studies and pursuits.
SCICU was established in 1953 with the primary mission of promoting independent higher education in South Carolina. SCICU seeks to advance independent higher education through fundraising, scholarships, research, and by facilitating collaborative activities among the 20 member institutions, which educate nearly 33,000 students each year. For additional information about SCICU, contact Mike LeFever or Brenda Torrence at 803-799-7122, or visit www.scicu.org <http://www.scicu.org>.