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STANFORD -- A historian, a biologist and two graduate students received Walter J. Gores Awards for excellence in teaching at Stanford University commencement ceremonies Sunday, June 12.
The winners were Albert M. Camarillo, professor of history and associate dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences; Susan McConnell, assistant professor of biological sciences; Scott M. McKeon, a graduate student in engineering-economic systems; and Hugh R. Pill, graduate student in economics.
Camarillo has been a professor of history at Stanford since 1975. In 1991, he was named the Mellon Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies. He has held a number of administrative positions and is currently chairing the Academic Environment subcommittee of the Commission on Undergraduate Education.
He was cited "for his patience and understanding, and for unfailing support and generosity in establishing bonds of friendship and trust with each of his students; for always being available to students, to read drafts, cajole, and to badger when necessary, encouraging students toward their highest potential as scholars."
Camarillo was also praised for teaching innovations, "which extend the boundaries of the classroom walls to homeless shelters and the chambers of the United States Supreme Court."
McConnell joined the Stanford faculty in 1990. That same year she was named the Clare Boothe Luce Professor in a new program to encourage women in the sciences and engineering.
She was honored "for being a role model to students and faculty alike in her dedication to undergraduate teaching while simultaneously developing a successful research program, and for being the kind of teacher who inspires the adjectives 'spectacular,' 'awesome,' 'fantastic,' and even 'cool' from students in core biology courses."
McConnell also was cited for "being the only known Stanford professor ever to give a lecture from the inside of a sleeping bag, in a compelling demonstration of early embryonic development."
McKeon, from Danville, Calif., was honored for "his outstanding direction of the engineering-economic systems summer math workshops, for his intuitive understanding of the individual needs of his students . . . and his gift for communicating even the most complex concepts with lucidity and excitement."
Pill, from Cardiff, Wales, won the Gores "for his talent in making the basic elements and the complex theories of international economics accessible to all of his students" and "for his good-humored responsiveness to the crowd of students filling his office for supplementary mini-lectures."
Gores awards are given annually for excellence in teaching at Stanford. At least is awarded in each of the following categories: senior faculty, junior faculty, and teaching fellow or assistant.
The awards are named for Professor Walter J. Gores, a member of the Stanford Class of 1917.
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