Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Award

Since 2001, The Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor Award annually recognizes four SMU faculty members for their notable commitment to and achievements in fostering student learning. These are teachers whose concerns for higher education go beyond classroom boundaries and often the boundaries of their own disciplines. In student mentoring, in discussions about teaching, and in continuous reflection about their own successes and ways to improve, they represent the highest achievement in reaching the goals of higher education.

Recipients receive a $10,000 award and membership in SMU's Academy of Distinguished Teachers. For two years following the award, they participate actively with other members of the Academy in providing campus-wide leadership in teaching and learning.

For nomination and selection guidelines, click here.

2021 Altshuler Recipients

Maxime Foerster is an associate professor of French and the French area chair. There is a lot of excitement around Professor Foerster’s teaching. Student evaluation comments were great and there was a clear enthusiasm amongst the students. He teaches a variety of classes and uses multiple assessment strategies including self- assessments and active learning activities. His teaching statement demonstrates a real joy of teaching. Professor Foerster has evidence of a commitment to teaching, supporting students, and engaging instruction.

Steven Lindquist is associate professor of religious studies and Director of Asian Studies. He brings a lot of innovation and effort to his teaching such as field trips and the extensive use of technology to support his classes. He is creative and has used Zoom and other technology tools quite effectively during the pandemic. His course evaluations were strong and students particularly lauded his creativity with his teaching. Finally, his efforts supporting the Asian Studies program stand out as well as the opportunities the program provides for students.

Rebekah Miles is a professor of ethics and practical theology in the Perkins School of Theology. Professor Miles has a longstanding commitment and impact in Perkins and across campus through her service work. She has a tremendous influence within Perkins and is a committed teacher. Her teaching statement was quite strong and demonstrated a thoughtfulness with how she approaches and reaches her students. Additionally, her efforts to respond to the technology demands of COVID were acknowledged as being quite strong and intentional. Overall, Professor Miles had a significant body of work that deserved recognition.

Carolyn Smith-Morris is a professor of anthropology. Multiple evaluation comments noted that she was “the best teacher I’ve ever had” impressively across both graduate and undergraduate courses. Even in larger courses, she makes an effort to learn the names of her students and call on them by name. She writes articles with her undergraduate students bringing together her research and teaching. She has an outstanding impact on the curriculum, creates courses, and plays a key role in the instructional experience of students both in her department and across campus such as through the creation of the Health and Society major.