New School News

Faculty Members Receive 2011 Distinguished University Teaching Awards

New School President David E. Van Zandt with Distinguished Teaching Award winners Miriam Ticktin, Bill Gaskins, Shannon Mattern, and Gary Vena.

At the president’s installation ceremony on Thursday, September 15, four faculty members were honored with 2011 Distinguished University Teaching Awards, the highest recognition The New School bestows for excellence in teaching. This year’s award winners are

  • Bill Gaskins, part-time faculty member in Photography, Parsons The New School for Design
  • Shannon Mattern, assistant professor of Media Studies, The New School for Public Engagement
  • Miriam Ticktin, assistant professor of Anthropology and International Affairs, The New School for Social Research
  • Gary Vena, part-time faculty member, The New School for Drama

What better way to represent the outstanding quality of our faculty, our highest regard for them, and our shared commitment to excellence in teaching as a core value of this university than with this prestigious award?, asked Tim Marshall, provost and chief academic officer.

The Distinguished University Teachers were nominated by their students and colleagues and then chosen by a faculty committee. According to Marshall, the 2011 recipients emerged from a pool of nearly 300 nominations, representing more submissions than any previous year since the award was initiated in 1988.

This record-breaking participation, with the majority of nominations coming from students, is a landmark in the 23-year history of this award process,, said Marshall. It demonstrates how students today are taking a proactive role in expressing their high regard for their faculty.,

Following Marshall’s introductory remarks, the dean from each recipient’s respective division spoke about this year’s winners and their accomplishments.

Gaskins, an acclaimed photographer, has not only garnered recognition from the New School community, but has also won widespread attention through his commissions, fellowships, artist residencies, grants, solo and group exhibitions, exhibition catalogs, anthologies, and other publications. As an artist, teacher, scholar, lecturer, and essayist, Gaskins examines photography and the portrait, the history of photography, the politics of visual culture, race and representation, and media literacy.

In her teaching and research, Shannon Mattern addresses relationships between media and spatial theory and practice, particularly the links between mass media and architecture and urban planning, and connections between media and contemporary art. Her work has received support from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts and the Mellon Foundation. Among her publications is The New Downtown Library: Designing With Communities.

Miriam Ticktin’s research interests include humanitarianism; migration, camps, and borders; sexual violence/violence against women; PTSD/trauma, psychiatric humanitarianism; anthropology of science, medicine, ethics. France, Europe, and North Africa are her areas of focus. Her articles appear in numerous publications, and she is the author of Casualties of Care: Immigration and the Politics of Humanitarianism in France.

Gary Vena is the author of Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh: Reconstructing the Premiere and How to Read and Write About Drama, and he co-edited Drama and Performance: An Anthology. Moderating annual roundtables for the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, Vena has been a guest speaker in Belgium, China, and at the Nobel Symposium in Stockholm for the Eugene O’Neill Centennial. He was a member of the Structuralist Workshop, and has performed at the Amos Enos Gallery, The Performing Garage, and The LaMama Annex.

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