Colleges Announce 2008–09 Teaching Award Winners

Author: Arts and Letters

The undergraduate colleges of the University of Notre Dame have selected their outstanding teachers for the 2008-09 academic year.

In the Mendoza College of Business , Carl Ackermann, an associate professional specialist, has been selected to receive the college’s undergraduate teaching award, which is sponsored by the British oil company BP. The recipient is chosen each year by the graduating class.

Ackermann, who joined the Notre Dame faculty in 1998, teaches financial management and personal finance to undergraduates. He has received several University awards for teaching and service, including a previous BP Outstanding Teacher Award in 2001, the Senior Class Fellow Award in 2003, the Kaneb Teaching Award in 2006 and the inaugural Dockweiler Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising in 2007.

In the College of Science , Pit-Mann Wong, professor of mathematics, has been chosen as the recipient of the Shilts/Leonard Teaching Award.

Wong, who joined the Notre Dame faculty in 1980, specializes in complex analysis. He was the recipient of the Frank O’Malley Teaching Award in 2001, the Kaneb Teaching Award in 2002, and the Madden Teaching Award in 2003. He also was named a Kaneb Fellow in 2008.

Established in 1993, the Shilts/Leonard Award recognizes outstanding teaching in memory of Rev. James L. Shilts, C.S.C., a longtime Notre Dame astronomy and astrophysics professor who died in 1982. The award was endowed by Eugene Leonard, a surgeon and 1940 alumnus of the University.

In the College of Engineering , William Schneider, associate professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, has been named Outstanding Teacher of the Year.

Schdeider’s work is focused on developing molecular-level understanding, and ultimately to direct molecular level design, of chemical reactivity at surfaces and interfaces. His Teacher of the Year citation recognized “the depth and rigor of his courses, his outstanding command of the material he teaches and the passion and encouragement he brings to each class.” A member of the Notre Dame faculty since 2004, he taught courses in chemical reaction engineering and physical chemistry for engineers during the past academic year.

In the College of Arts and Letters , Richard Pierce, John Cardinal O’Hara, C.S.C., Associate Professor of History and chair of the Department of Africana Studies, has been named the recipient of the Sheedy Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Established by an anonymous donor, the award has been given annually since 1970 in memory of Rev. Charles E. Sheedy, C.S.C., former dean of the college.

Pierce specializes in social and political protest in urban environments. He is the author of Polite Protest: The Political Economy of Race in Indianapolis, 1920-1970, which chronicles the protest methods used by blacks in Indianapolis which set the city apart from Chicago, Milwaukee and Detroit.

A member of the Notre Dame faculty since 1996, Pierce also is a fellow of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and the recipient of a Kaneb teaching award. He was a primary architect in the development of the Erskine A. Peters Dissertation Fellowship Program.

Originally published by William G. Gilroy at on May 14, 2009.