Eric Cline— 2005 Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award

Award Citation:

The Archaeological Institute of America is pleased to name Eric H. Cline as the recipient of the 2005 Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award. Dr. Cline teaches at The George Washington University in Washington, DC, where he is an Associate Professor of Classics and Anthropology and also serves as Chair of the Department of Classical and Semitic Languages and Literatures.

Eric Cline received his A.B. (cum laude) from Dartmouth College in Classical Archaeology and Anthropology. He completed his M.A. at Yale in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Literature, and his Ph.D. in Ancient History at the University of Pennsylvania. In the course of his education, Dr. Cline was exposed to some of the most dynamic and thought-provoking teachers in contemporary archaeology, including Jeremy Rutter, Sarah Morris, Frank Hole, and J.D. Muhly — proof positive of the impact that great teaching can have on students.

Before beginning his current position at The George Washington University, Eric held a series of visiting appointments, including positions at California State-Fresno, Miami University of Ohio, Xavier, Stanford, and the University of Cincinnati. In all of these positions, he compiled an outstanding and enviable record of teaching excellence. A colleague at Stanford University flatly states that Eric is the best undergraduate teacher he knows, one able to inspire even non-majors in required general education courses. A colleague at George Washington notes that his teaching evaluations range “from the positive to the rapturous; there were no negative evaluations at all.” Yet another praises his ability to integrate method, theory, and presentation of specific sites in a seamless and entirely lucid manner. His respect for his students and passion for their successful learning shines through in their observations. Many of them note the sheer amount of time he dedicates to advising and the care with which he counsels his advisees. Perhaps most revealing in this regard is a comment made by a student: “I feel that he made my success a priority and did everything possible to ensure that I achieve my goals…I hope that I may one day make the same positive impact on my students that Dr. Cline has made on me.”

Despite a heavy teaching and advising schedule, Eric is a highly prolific scholar. He has authored or edited four books, as well as dozens of articles and reviews. He has delivered numerous papers at professional conferences and scores of public lectures to a wide variety of audiences. The breadth of his scholarship is wide, ranging from trade in the Aegean Bronze Age to ancient earthquakes to the stratigraphy of Megiddo. His ability to make complex subjects accessible to students and the general public is outstanding: his most recent book, The Battles of Armageddon: Megiddo and the Jezreel Valley from the Bronze Age to the Nuclear Age, received the Biblical Archaeology Society’s “Best Popular Book on Archaeology” Award and was a main selection of the Natural Science Book Club. His classes are enriched by his extensive field experience in excavation and survey at sites such as Megiddo, Pylos, Palaikastro, Nea Paphos, the Athenian Agora, and Tel Anafa.

Professor Eric Cline is a model of an outstanding undergraduate teacher. The Archaeological Institute of America is delighted to recognize Eric Cline as the 2005 recipient of the Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award.

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