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Two history professors receive System-wide teaching award

Professors Yoav Di-Capua and Brian Levack receive the Regents' Outstanding Teaching Award for 2011.

Posted: August 25, 2011

Professors Yoav Di-Capua and Brian Levack make number seven and eight from the Department of History to receive the Regents' Outstanding Teaching Award.

In 2009, the inaugural year, Professors G. Howard Miller, Karl Miller and Penne Restad received the award. And in 2010, another three professors received it: George B. Forgie, Tiffany M. Gill, and Frank A. Guridy.

Here are their teaching statements:

Yoav Di-Capua
Associate Professor
Department of History

The University of Texas at Austin

As a historian, I always felt that that "thinking with history", that is, the ability to put complex human dynamics in perspective across time, is a critical skill in becoming a contributing member of society. Yet, I had no idea that this habit of mind would prove so beneficial to our students from all walks of life. This is particularly true for veterans, many of whom struggle with the transition to academic and civilian life after returning from the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq. The ability to apply an abstract academic notion to real-life situations is one thing that makes teaching meaningful.

Brian P. Levack
John E. Green Regents Professor in History and Distinguished Teaching Professor
Department of History

The University of Texas at Austin

In my courses I sometimes relate historical developments to current events with which my students might be familiar. More often, I emphasize that the past is irretrievable: that history belongs to a world we have lost and will not be repeated. By exposing students to a past that is in many ways foreign to them, by getting them to appreciate the differences between us and our ancestors, I offer them a road to the self-knowledge that is the main goal of an education in the liberal arts."

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