Metcalf Awards for Excellence in Teaching: Past Awardees

2016 Metcalf Award Recipients

Manher Jariwala

College of Arts & Sciences, Physics

Manher Jariwala is winner of the 2016 Metcalf Award for Excellence in Teaching. (Photo by Kelly Davidson for Boston University Photography)

Manher Jariwala is a Lecturer in the Department of Physics. He specializes in condensed matter physics, educational technology, and teacher education, and is a nationally recognized leader in pedagogical innovation in physics education at all levels. He bases his educational philosophy on cognitive research findings that students learn better by doing than by watching.

At Boston University since 2007, Dr. Jariwala has taught several courses in physics and physics education, including what a colleague calls “one of the toughest jobs in academia: teaching the required -general physics sequence to non-majors.” Facing that challenge head-on, Dr. Jariwala has transformed introductory physics—where students previously listened to lectures—into an interactive, engaged experience. A colleague in the College of Arts & Sciences states, “He is transforming how students learn at BU.”

Student evaluations speak to his effectiveness. They portray a professor who is enthusiastic, friendly, helpful, and “has the ability to simplify complicated subjects and explain them to anyone.” He has been called “my favorite professor by far,” “the best science professor at BU,” and, simply, “spectacular.” Students find his classes very difficult—but they love them.

Another innovative approach to education co-founded by Dr. Jariwala is the Learning Assistant Program at BU. The program takes students who have recently finished selected courses and trains them in science education pedagogy. They then serve as learning assistants who can readily identify with student -difficulties and can also expertly guide others in their learning.

Dr. Jariwala holds three degrees in physics: a Bachelor of Science from Stanford University and a Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Maryland. He is the author of numerous widely cited papers and presentations on physics and physics education. In addition, Dr. Jariwala has been recognized repeatedly for his excellence as an educator, including receiving the 2015 College of Arts & Sciences’ Neu Family Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Provost’s 2014 Gitner Family Award for Innovation in Teaching with Technology.

Erin Murphy

College of Arts & Sciences, English

Erin Murphy is winner of the 2016 Metcalf Award for Excellence in Teaching. (Photo by Kelly Davidson for Boston University Photography)

Erin Murphy is winner of the 2016 Metcalf Award for Excellence in Teaching. (Photo by Kelly Davidson for Boston University Photography)

Erin Murphy is an Associate Professor of English and Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies and Director of Graduate Studies, English. Her teaching and research focus on the intersection of literature and politics, with a specialization in early modern literature, seventeenth-century politics and political theory, and gender and sexuality studies.

Since arriving at Boston University in 2003, Professor Murphy has proven herself a versatile, gifted, and innovative educator. She has taught sixteen different courses, from undergraduate offerings on Shakespeare for non-majors, to advanced English classes on theories of family and kinship, to graduate seminars on John Milton and seventeenth-century women writers. She also teaches a graduate seminar in the Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies Program that draws students from across the University. She believes strongly in classroom discussion and has introduced many pedagogical innovations, including the use of live -performance, film, and new media in the study of literature.

Reviews by students commonly cite Professor Murphy’s “enthusiasm,” which they find “infectious,” “-invigorating,” and “inspiring.” She elicits comments such as “brilliant,” “best course ever,” and “awesome instructor,” but students also paint a picture of a committed and rigorous teacher who pushes students beyond their self-expectations. Her courses are “challenging, rewarding, and surprisingly enjoyable”—taught with a “meticulous clarity” in a “charged intellectual atmosphere.”

As an administrator within the College of Arts & Sciences, she has been a leader in curriculum development and academic education, and served students tirelessly as Placement Director and Director of Graduate Studies for English. A colleague summarizes, “Creative, resourceful, and generous, she does not just teach great classes; she strengthens the educational environment at BU.”

Professor Murphy earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Vassar College, with a Correlate Sequence in Political Economy, and a Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy in English from Rutgers University. She was a New York City Urban Fellow from 1993 to 1994. The recipient of numerous honors and awards, she has published widely in academic journals, co-edited a special journal issue and a collection of essays, and authored a book.

2015 Binyomin Abrams, CAS
Pamela Templer, CAS
2014 Terry Everson, CFA
Alan Marscher, CAS
2013 John Finnerty, CAS
Carol Jenkins, SED
2012 Marisa Milanese, CAS
Robert Lowe, MED
2011 Wayne LaMorte, SPH
David Walker, LAW
2010 John Caradonna, CAS
Sandra Nicolucci, CFA
2009 Peter Edward Busher, CGS
2008 Andrew Kull, LAW
T. Jefferson Kline, CAS
2007 Penelope Bitzas, CFA
2006 Peter Hawkins, CAS
John T. Matthews, CAS
2005 Akahiro Kanamori, CAS
John Straub, CAS
2004 David Marchant, CAS
Anatoly Temkin, MET
Rosanna Warren, CAS
2003 Robert L. Devaney, CAS
Ann Howard Jones, CFA
2002 Theo de Winter, ENG
Fred S. Kleiner, CAS
Diana Wylie, CAS
2001 Lisa Sullivan, SPH
2000 Dan Clemens, CAS
Maureen O’Rourke, LAW
1999 Raymond J. Nagem, ENG
David Roochnik, CAS
1998 M. David Eckel, CAS
Loren J. Samons II, CAS
1997 Igor Lukes, CAS/UNI
John Daverio, SFA
1996 Dick A. Brown, MED
James Johnson, CAS
Frederick M. Lawrence, LAW
1995 Robert G. Feldman, MED
Tracey Maclin, LAW
1994 Bonnie Costello, CAS
1993 S. Hamid Nawab, ENG
Mark Pettit, Jr., LAW
1991 Theodore Antoniou, SFA
Robert G. Bone, LAW
1990 Carolyn Dillon, SSW
Solomon Eisenberg, ENG
1989 Katheryn Pfisterer Darr, STH
John Snyder, CAS
1988 Nagagopal Venna, MED
1987 Jeffrey Coulter, CAS
Misia Landau, CAS
1986 James Purvi, CAS
Anna Deane Scott, SAR
1985 Alicia Borinsky, CAS
Jules Schwartz, SMG
1984 Peter F. Arenella, LAW
William R. Keylor, CAS
Lester F. Williams, Jr., MED
1983 D. Allen Rogers, SFA
Carolyn Williams. CAS
1982 Steven Molinsky, SED
1981 Katherine O’Connor, CAS
N. Paul Rosman, MED
1980 Roselmin Indrisano, SED
John R. Russell, SMG
1979 Louis Low, SSW
Murray R. Yaeger, COM
1978 Freda Rebelsky, CAS
Samuel Stern, MET
Alfred Prock, CAS
1977 Celia Millward, CAS
David Wheeler, CAS
1976 Muriel A. Poulin, SON
Arnold A. Offner, CAS
Robert H. Sproat, CAS
1975 Charles P. Fogg, CGS
Paul D. Berger, SMG
1974 Gerald P. Fitzgerald, CAS
Nancy L. Roelker, CAS
Paul A. Wallace, LAW