The University Record, October 3, 1994

FACULTY AWARDS Sabine MacCormack, Amoco Foundation Faculty Teaching Award

A specialist in the period of Late Antiquity and in the cultures of the Peruvian Andes, Sabine MacCormack is a strong contributor to teaching and scholarship in the Departments of both History and Classical Studies. Her model of demanding and committed teaching leaves a tremendous impression on her students, and by investing enormous amounts of energy in them, she achieves impressive results.

Wide-ranging in her own scholarly interests, Professor MacCormack invariably sets an ambitious intellectual agenda in her courses, where the students are asked to grapple with serious issues of historical evidence, methods, and meaning. At the same time, she is unfailingly available to her students, ready to help them meet the challenge that she builds into each of her courses.

Professor MacCormack has made a significant impact on undergraduate education at Michigan by transforming the introductory history course which covers Late Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance. Her redesign of the course included incorporating material on Muslim as well as Christian cultures, making extensive use of primary sources, and introducing music from the periods under study. These innovations provide students with multiple points of entry into the subject matter, and introduce them to the process of building historical interpretation. Students report enjoying her lectures for their originality, as well as for the dynamism and verve with which she delivers them.

The impact that Professor MacCormack has had on the honors and graduate programs cannot be overestimated. Constantly pushing the students to excel, she is also a patient teacher who understands perfectly the anxiety that confronts every student at the start of their first, major research project.

This unusual combination—academic rigor together with generosity of spirit, a commitment to offering intellectually serious undergraduate courses together with her personal commitment to working closely with individual students—makes Sabine MacCormack a truly remarkable and inspirational educator. The University of Michigan is proud to present to Professor Sabine MacCormack the Amoco Foundation Teaching Award.