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Hope Dawson

Provost's Award for Distinguished Teaching by a Lecturer, 2017

Hope Dawson, senior lecturer, linguistics, has been honored with the 2017 Provost’s Award for Distinguished Teaching by a Lecturer. Dawson, whose main research interests are in historical linguistics with a focus on Indo-European linguistics and Sanskrit, teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in general linguistics, historical linguistics, Sanskrit and linguistics pedagogy. She also supervises the department’s graduate teaching associates and has overseen several revisions of the Language Files, a textbook published by The Ohio State University Press, which was developed within the department and is linked to its core undergraduate teaching mission.

In her nomination by faculty colleague Brian Joseph, he said, “Simply put, she has done an exceptional job… Her teaching has been truly worthy of designation as ‘distinguished,’ as indicated by her SEIs and student comments, and her training of the Linguistics Department’s GTAs has been demonstrably successful; there have been three linguistics winners of the university-wide Graduate Associate Teaching Award during her time coordinating and mentoring the GTAs.”

Student comments echo those thoughts. Said one, “This teacher ROCKS! She loves what she does and you can see it.”  Another put it this way, “Dr. Dawson has impressive ‘blackboard skills’ that were a delight to witness. This instructor, in my view – and I have sat in many a class with all sorts of instructors – is one of your best. Also, may I note, the course atmosphere was unique to me, rather like a ‘conversation’ between teacher and student. . .  more like an outing on a mountain hillside with a learned naturalist, a shared adventure in which it was possible to learn so much so well.”

Other students commented on her energy, humor, enthusiasm and upbeat attitude. “This is the first class in memory that I never once looked at the clock,” said one.

In addition to her other duties, Dawson was involved in organizing the first-ever conference on pedagogy in linguistics in 2010 and has helped run the department’s annual Lecture on Linguistics Pedagogy, now in its 15th year.