Chin Wins American Anthropological Association Award
Elizabeth Chin, professor of critical theory and social justice at Occidental College, has been honored by the American Anthropological Assn. with its Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.
She will receive the award at a ceremony at the AAA annual meeting in Washington, D.C. Nov. 28.
Chin is being recognized for her role as an educator and mentor to students both inside and outside the classroom, according to the association. She has led student groups on two study trips to Cuba and one to Haiti, developed a project to teach anthropological methods to fifth-graders, designed the curriculum for a gang intervention and prevention program, and founded a Haitian folkloric dance performance group at Occidental.
“It's really great to have my teaching be honored and valued,” Chin said. “Since I'm so often experimenting a great deal with my classes, whether with student-led formats or integrating community-based learning, it's especially gratifying to have those experiments be viewed as something to support.”
This year Chin, a 14-year member of the Occidental faculty, is teaching Children and Childhood, Race and Its Discontents, Schooling for Conformity/Learning as Cultural Critique and Consumption, and Power and Politics. Although her courses have been described as “no cakewalk,” students rave about her challenging and intellectually stimulating teaching style. Chin has shared her views on anthropology and teaching through multiple commentaries on NPR’s “Tavis Smiley Show.”
Ken Lightfoot of UC Berkeley also received this year’s award.
The AAA Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching is given annually to recognize teachers who have contributed to and encouraged the study of anthropology. Founded in 1902, the American Anthropological Assn. (AAA) is the world’s largest professional organization of scholars and practitioners in the field of anthropology. AAA publishes 19 peer-reviewed scholarly journals and conducts the largest annual meeting of anthropologist in the world. For more information: http://www.aaanet.org/.