Metcalf Awards for Excellence in Teaching: Past Awardees

2024 Metcalf Award Recipients

Alexis Peri

College of Arts & Sciences, History
Alexis Peri is winner of the 2024 Metcalf Award for Excellence in Teaching (Photo by Cydney Scott for BU Photography)

Alexis Peri is an associate professor of history and director of graduate studies at Boston University’s College of Arts & Sciences. She inspires her students to develop their powers of “historical imagination” and creative problem-solving. As she put it, “A creative mind is a resilient mind. It can solve challenges. It can build bridges. It can cultivate compassion.”

For a decade, Professor Peri has helped students understand history by immersing them in the intimate details of everyday life, especially in Russia and the Soviet Union. Through a combination of lecture, discussion, and creative projects, she brings the past to life and helps instill in students an attitude of empathy for those who came before.

Professor Peri’s colleagues and students laud her as a patient educator and passionate expert. Students frequently praise her “thought-provoking” approach to history. Using diaries, letters, literature, and even food, jokes, and fashion from the period, students explore how people lived, thought, and felt in their day-to-day lives as they experienced monumental historical moments. Students describe her as “honest, caring, and influential” and “a true teacher who puts students’ learning first.” According to her department chair, “Her view of education is capacious, and it includes individual growth, intellectual independence, and the future lives of her students.”

Professor Peri’s first book, The War Within: Diaries from the Siege of Leningrad, won the Pushkin House Book Prize and the Wall Street Journal called it one of the ten best books on the Soviet home front. Her latest book is Dear Unknown Friend: The Remarkable Correspondence between American and Soviet Women. She is a Jeffrey Henderson Senior Research Fellow at the Boston University Center for the Humanities and a recipient of the Gerald and Deanne Gitner Family Undergraduate Teaching Prize in History. She earned her BA in history and psychology and her MA and PhD in history from the University of California, Berkeley.

Veronika J. Wirtz

School of Public Health, Global Health

Veronika J. Wirtz is winner of the 2024 Metcalf Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Veronika J. Wirtz is a professor at Boston University’s School of Public Health. Through teaching and committed mentorship, she brings the world to her classroom, highlighting the importance of global health policy, health systems, and equitable access to medicine, including supply chain management.  

For over a decade, Professor Wirtz has engaged students via lively class discussions, practice-based teaching, and her own vast expertise, exposing them to the complexity of global health policymaking and teaching them to think critically and creatively. She often invites leading experts into the classroom so that students gain knowledge about the realities of global public health work. One classroom observer noted, “I felt that people were there to figure out how to change the world.”

As a mentor and advisor, Professor Wirtz is renowned for her “outstanding ability to individually connect,” treating students as colleagues “with great respect for their abilities and experience.” She cofounded Emerging Women Leaders, a career-mentoring program that connects doctoral students with senior public health leaders. She launched a peer-to-peer research lab where students meet to discuss successes and challenges of current projects and share professional advice. She has helped dozens of students publish in peer-reviewed journals. In addition to her teaching and mentoring, she is an internationally recognized expert on medicine access and health systems and is regularly called on to consult with the World Health Organization. In the words of a colleague, “She is a rare faculty member who seems to do it all, and to the very highest standards.”

Professor Wirtz earned her BPharm from the University of Freiburg and her MSc and PhD from the University of London. A licensed pharmacist, published researcher, and world-renowned expert, she was the recipient of the 2023 Excellence in Research Mentoring Award and the 2023 Excellence in Teaching Award for Dedication to Student Learning from the School of Public Health.

2023 Stephanie Byttebier, CGS
Joanna Davidson, CAS/Kilachand Honors College
2022 Leslie Dietiker, Wheelock
2021 Fadie Coleman, MED
David Sullivan, CAS
2020 Seth Blumenthal, CAS
Courtney Goto, STH
2019 Neal H. Fleisher, GSDM
Gregory L. Stoller, Questrom
2018 Elizabeth Co, CAS
James A. Wolff, SPH
2017 Sophie Godley, SPH
Gary Lawson, LAW
2016 Manher Jariwala, CAS
Erin Murphy, CAS
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
Eric Widmaier, CAS
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 Purvis, 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 Lowy, SSW
Murray R. Yaeger, COM
1978 Freda Rebelsky, CAS
Samuel Stern, CGS
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