Metcalf Awards for Excellence in Teaching: Past Awardees

2023 Metcalf Award Recipients

Stephanie Byttebier

College of General Studies, Rhetoric

Stephanie Byttebier is winner of the 2023 Metcalf Award for Excellence in Teaching (Photo by Cydney Scott for BU Photography)

Stephanie L. Byttebier (GRS’04,’13) is a senior lecturer in rhetoric at Boston University’s College of General Studies and began teaching at the University in 2005 as an instructor in the Writing Program at the College of Arts & Sciences. Known for fusing classroom instruction and research with the world at large, she received the Global Impact Research Fund Award from CGS’s Center for Interdisciplinary Teaching & Learning in 2020.

Dr. Byttebier earned a BA in linguistics and literature, magna cum laude, from the University of Ghent, an MA in American studies, magna cum laude, from the University of Antwerp, and her MA and PhD in English from Boston University. She teaches courses in composition and rhetoric, the history of rhetoric, and the rhetoric of protest and resistance—among other topics—and emphasizes the role rhetoric plays in challenging the status quo. She often seeks to connect discussion of historical materials to our cultural moment, from an Eminem rap battle to Super Bowl ads to debates on daytime talk shows.

Dr. Byttebier also leads a course in the London Study Abroad semester, where she brings history to life through assignments that send students across the city equipped with cameras and notebooks. Hands-on experience is a crucial component of her pedagogy, particularly through service learning as a mutually beneficial practice. Her students serve as judges for the Boston Debate League, an organization that brings the power of oral argument and civil discourse into public middle and high schools.

In her course evaluations, she receives enthusiastic praise and countless superlatives: “Absolutely amazing,” “The best professor I’ve had at BU,” and “If I could take her forever, I would.” But the adjective that recurs most is “passionate.”

Her colleagues agree, lauding her creativity, sophistication, and emphasis on active learning. As her department chair puts it, “Dr. Byttebier is defined by her refusal to take shortcuts or compromise in any way when it comes to offering students the very best possible learning experiences.”

Joanna Davidson

College of Arts & Sciences, Anthropology
Arvid & Chandan Nandlal Kilachand Honors College
Joanna Davidson is winner of the 2023 Metcalf Award for Excellence in Teaching (Photo by Jackie Ricciardi for BU Photography)

Joanna Davidson is an associate professor of anthropology at Boston University’s College of Arts & Sciences and associate director of Kilachand Honors College. Since joining BU in 2011, she has taught an array of anthropology and interdisciplinary courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels. She has also supervised numerous PhD students and mentored many postdoctoral fellows. According to Professor Davidson, anthropology cultivates more nuanced, imaginative, and empathic orientations to the world. Her first-year seminar, The Power, Politics, and Ethics of Storytelling, is one of the most highly rated at Kilachand.

Professor Davidson describes her teaching style as “intellectually demanding and individually empowering.” Her students call it “illuminating,” “transformative,” and “contagious.” 

Concerned that conventional grading discourages intellectual risk-taking, Professor Davidson proposed a strategy that emphasizes dialogue and student reflection. She has implemented alternative grading approaches in all her courses and has worked to spread these methods across the honors college and BU.

A sociocultural anthropologist, Professor Davidson has conducted ethnographic research in Guinea-Bissau since 1999, where she has focused on rural West Africans’ responses to environmental, economic, and religious change. She is the author of Sacred Rice: An Ethnography of Identity, Environment, and Development in Rural West Africa and coeditor of Opting Out: Women Messing with Marriage around the World. She has authored numerous peer-reviewed articles and book chapters.

Professor Davidson earned a BA, with honors, in anthropology and feminist studies from Stanford University, and her MA and PhD in anthropology from Emory University. Prior to becoming an academic anthropologist, she worked with nongovernmental organizations in Africa and Latin America on issues such as refugee resettlement, indigenous rights, rural development, and social entrepreneurship.

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