Press release submitted by Augustana College|
Rock Island, Ill. – The National Conference of Black Political Scientists has named an Augustana College professor, Dr. Christopher Whitt, as its 2013 Anna Julia Cooper Teacher of the Year.
Dr. Whitt was recognized as a teacher who "regularly went above and beyond" the normal requirements of the job, and who left an indelible impression on many students as a helpful and influential teacher, according to Dr. Ravi Perry of Mississippi State University, who chaired the selection committee.
At Augustana College, Dr. Whitt teaches courses on American politics and institutions with his signature course providing an emphasis on race, wealth and inequality in the political system. He is a co-founder of the college's Africana Studies Program and the Political Denizens Blog, and is also involved with student organizations and community outreach in the Quad Cities such as working with the Bi-State Planning Commission and serving on the Leadership Council of The Network (Young Professionals).
"It means a lot to be recognized by my peers," said Dr. Whitt. "Additionally, my award nomination was supported by letters of support from students, former students and colleagues here at Augustana. So that makes it all mean even more to me. The number one reason I am a professor is the teaching. That is why I chose to work somewhere like Augustana instead of at a larger institution."
After recognizing Dr. Whitt as Teacher of the Year, the National Conference of Black Political Scientists also awarded him with its 2013 Summer Writing Fellowship, which consists of a week's stay at a resort in Orlando, Fla., to provide him with time to complete a writing project.
"He has brought innovative ideas to the teaching of American politics," said Dr. Stephen Klien, one of his colleagues at Augustana. "Dr. Whitt promotes active student citizenship," he said, noting that Dr. Whitt often engages with students outside the classroom, helping them connect with a broader understanding of politics in the real world.
On April 4, The Network, a program of the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce, announced that Dr. Whitt is one three Quad-Citians to earn a local award – the 2013 Leaders Under 40 award. He will receive The Network award on May 2.
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