Pillars of the Community
of excellence – Arnold Scheibel, Susan McClary, Ivan Szelenyi,
Kris Gutierrez and Utpal Banerjee – stand and deliver daily
for the benefit of their UCLA students.
teacher," wrote historian and philosopher Henry Brooks Adams, "affects
eternity. He can never tell where his influence stops."
any measure, the five UCLA faculty who have been chosen to receive
the 1997 Harriet and Charles Luckman Distinguished Teaching Award
manifest Adams' noble vision. Nominated by their academic departments
on the recommendation of colleagues and students and selected by
the UCLA Academic Senate's Committee on Teaching, these maestros
of the classroom -- Arnold Scheibel, professor of neurobiology;
Utpal Banerjee, professor of molecular, cell and developmental biology;
Kris Gutierrez, associate professor of education; Ivan Szelenyi,
professor of sociology; and Susan McClary, professor of musicology
-- are the very best that UCLA has to offer.
makes a teacher great? There is more to it than the ability to share
knowledge, a formidable gift in its own right. The selection committee's
comments on this year's Luckman awardees hint at some of the special
qualities possessed by professors of excellence. On Scheibel: "Sets
the standard against which his colleagues compare themselves and
against which students compare the rest of the faculty." On Banerjee:
"An innovative and creative force." On Gutierrez: "A gifted mentor
with the intuitive gift for making each student feel his or her
ideas are intelligent, valid and beneficial to the learning community."
On Szelenyi: "Able to explain the most complex subjects with ease
and with immeasurable compassion and understanding for his students
and the human condition." On McClary: "Approaches teaching and critical
thought in general with an air of such humor, energy and courage
that it opens up to others the desire for intellectual life and
the possibilities of cultural participation and production."
hallmark of the gift, as Adams observed, is the capacity to influence.
To leave a lasting impression. To change lives. That's all we ask
of our top teachers; that's what the 1997 Luckman Award winners
reliably stand and deliver.