2003 Distinguished Teaching Awards

Ronald R. Stockton, Professor of History

Ronald R. Stockton, professor in history, is recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award in the tenured category. Dr. Stockton, who joined the Department of Social Science in 1973, is one of UM-Dearborn's model teacher-scholars. A well-known and respected author and lecturer on international politics and religion, Ron animates his classrooms and excites his students with his extraordinary mastery of and enthusiasm for the subject.

He seems to have a unique ability to generate a kind of intellectual contagion among his students. As a former student describes the aftermath of a typical lecture of his: "At the end of class you feel as though you are standing in a deli, or bakery line and that you need to take a number from the red dispenser so that you may have the opportunity to talk to Professor Stockton and connect all those new found ideas and concepts formed in the last hour and a half." Ron has a special gift for communicating difficult ideas brilliantly and clearly, linking abstractions to experiences gleaned from many years spent in Africa and the Middle East.

Ron also has a deep dedication to students. As a colleague writes: "I have seen Ron devote a great deal of time and energy to the extracurricular education of students. What a delight and inspiration it is for me to arrive at my office in the morning to find Professor Stockton yet again in the lounge directing students on yet another extracurricular project." For nearly thirty years, Ron "has consistently enriched and extended the educational environment of UM-D."

Martin J. Hershock, Assistant Professor of History

Martin J. Hershock, assistant professor in history, is recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award in the non-tenured category. He joined the Department of Social Sciences in 1999 as a specialist in American history. Dr. Hershock is a gifted teacher, who has a genius for bringing the past to life in his classroom. He also has, as one former student describes it, "a passion for what he teaches, and that passion comes out in his lectures." In addition, he has mastered the illusive art of teaching critical thinking, a gift that is revealed in such student comments as: "He teaches his students to question, and to understand that there is more than what is in front of you. He has made my college experience and thus my life, richer for having him as a teacher and a mentor." Most strikingly, Professor Hershock has a commitment to students that is truly remarkable. As an UM-D alumnus, a law student, writes, "were it not for his encouragement, influence, and support, I would never have made it to where I am today." A student nominator echoes these sentiments: Marty "has monumentally changed my life as a student, and as a prospective graduate student. I would assume that he has changed the lives of others as well."

Terri Faitel, Adjunct Lecturer in Mathematics

Terri Faitel, adjunct lecturer in mathematics, is recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award in the supplemental category. Professor Faitel is an educator's educator, adept at teaching mathematics education to future elementary-school teachers, an expert on the theory and practice of teaching, and a genius at inspiring students to excel as teachers in their own right. As one former student writes, she is a "super-teacher," who is extremely "effective in motivating students to attain a deeper understanding of the mathematics they will teach." As another student puts it, "She is a shining star whom I will do my best to model as I begin my teaching career," while a third states, she "made me feel like I can be a great teacher. I know that if I can even be half of what she is, I will be a pretty amazing teacher." Professor Faitel has so mastered the art of teaching, that a former professor of hers was led to exclaim in a letter of nomination: "Every lesson Terri taught was a Rembrandt."