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2010 Faculty Awards

Blocker Mare Blocker

Suzanne L. Martin Award for Excellence in Mentoring

Mare Blocker, visiting assistant professor of art

In nominating Blocker, a colleague noted, “On a typical day, you can watch Mare going from student to student to help them, encourage them, and push them to excel, and she is always ready with a smile and her hearty laugh. Mare regularly meets with thesis students so they can practice their oral exam presentations so they can be better prepared and successful.” Timothy Kaufman-Osborn, provost and dean of the faculty, thanked Blocker for her “remarkable commitment to the well-being of Whitman students in all aspects of their lives.” Blocker joined the faculty in 2006.

northam Jeff Northam

George Ball Award for Excellence in Advising

Jeff Northam ’88, senior lecturer of sport studies and head men’s tennis coach

In nominating Northam, a student wrote that one of Northam’s most wonderful attributes is his unparalleled generosity. “Jeff’s willingness to support every one of his athletes regardless of their skills is a quality that I admire and appreciate. When I struggled with schoolwork as a first-year student, Jeff was an unwavering figure of support and compassion.” Kaufman-Osborn thanked Northam for not only his record as the coach of one of the most successful Division III tennis programs in the nation, but also his commitment to the education of students in all aspects of their careers at Whitman. Northam joined the faculty in 1997.

Bobrow-Strain Aaron Bobrow-Strain

Robert Y. Fluno Award for Distinguished Teaching in Social Sciences

Aaron Bobrow-Strain, assistant professor of politics

In nominating Bobrow-Strain, a colleague wrote, “I have always left his classes with great admiration for the high expectations he sets for his students as well their willingness to rise to those expectations, and the passion that he brings to his teaching as well as his concern for his students’ intellectual growth. His work with students on the U.S.-Mexico border trip exemplifies the same kind of high quality and commitment, an undertaking that he carries out solely out of pedagogical generosity.” Kaufman-Osborn thanked Bobrow-Strain for that generosity, which “informs all of your work on behalf of Whitman College and its students.” Bobrow-Strain joined the faculty in 2004.

snow Donald Snow

Thomas D. Howells Award for Distinguished Teaching in Humanities and Arts

Donald Snow, senior lecturer of environmental humanities and general studies

The entire graduating class of environmental humanities majors nominated Snow for this award. They wrote, “Each individual class period of every one of Don’s courses has challenged us to think about and articulate the nexus of culture and nature, the hub of the environmental humanities discipline, in critical and holistic terms.” Kaufman-Osborn thanked Snow for “sharing with us your unique ability to encourage and nurture the sort of thinking that is central to the ethos of a liberal arts college.” Snow joined the faculty in 2001.

Goet Marion Götz

A.E. Lange Award for Distinguished Science Teaching

Marion Götz, assistant professor of chemistry

In nominating Götz, a student wrote, “I have been a research student for Dr. Götz the last two and a half years, and I have been inspired by her enthusiasm for the subject she teaches, and touched by her willingness to make extra effort to connect with her students. The fact that I have stayed with her doing grueling organic chemistry research is proof of that willingness.” Kaufman-Osborn thanked Götz for “your remarkable capacity to bring good cheer to those undergoing the throes of organic chemistry.” Götz joined the faculty in 2007.

Withers Ginger Withers

G. Thomas Edwards Award for Excellence in Teaching and Scholarship

Ginger Withers, Dr. Robert F. Welty associate professor of biology

In nominating Withers, a colleague wrote that she is “the true epitome of the teacher-scholar. She works tirelessly to integrate teaching into her research, and research into her teaching. Her students leave her labs and classes with a truly integrated, rich understanding of her discipline, and many go on to excel in esteemed graduate programs due to her unique style of mentorship. It is not an overstatement to say that her students leave Whitman with cutting-edge knowledge in the field of neurobiology.” Kaufman-Osborn thanked Withers “for showing us that the art of teaching and the art of scholarship complement one another in ways that render each richer.” Withers joined the faculty in 2001.

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