Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award

2018 Undergraduate Teaching winner
David Soren

The AIA Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award Committee invites nominations for the 2019 award. This prize may be awarded to up to one individual every year and includes a certificate of award. Individuals worthy of this award must have demonstrated excellence in the teaching of archaeology; developed innovative teaching methods or interdisciplinary curricula; a minimum of five years of teaching experience prior to being nominated, currently be engaged in teaching; and have been AIA members in good standing for at least two consecutive years.

Nominations should be made by letter and accompanied by a dossier of supporting materials. They should be made by individuals familiar with the candidate's teaching, such as administrators, departmental chairpersons or colleagues, former students, or faculty in other departments or institutions. Dossiers should include:

1) The nominating letter indicating how the candidate meets the criteria of the award
2) A current curriculum vitae of the nominee;
3) Four letters of recommendation, including at least one each from a student, a colleague, and academic superior;
4) A brief description of all relevant courses taught during the past five years, including some representative syllabi and course materials.

Due Date for Nomination
Completed nominations should be received by Institute Headquarters at the below address no later than June 1, 2018. Electronic submission is preferred.

Send materials to:

Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching
Atten: Awards
c/o Archaeological Institute of America
44 Beacon Street
Boston, MA 02108
(857) 305-9350
FAX: (617) 353-6550
E-mail: awards@archaeological.org


2018 Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award: David Soren

David Soren is Regents Professor of Anthropology and Classics at the University of Arizona and former head of Art History at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He has been a professor for 45 years. Initially hired as a research archaeologist, he became known in archaeology primarily for three discoveries. His archaeological excavations at Kourion, Cyprus identified the epicenter of the famous Mediterranean earthquake of July 21, 365 A.D. offshore approximately 25 miles southwest of the town of Kourion. Brian Fagan described this discovery as one of the 50 most significant in world archaeology. His second discovery was the identification of Plasmodium falciparum malaria as a significant contributor to the downfall of the Roman Empire. This was done through analysis of DNA of infant bones from a cemetery he excavated at Lugnano in Teverina, Umbria between 1987 and 1991– the first such use of DNA evidence on an archaeological site. The third discovery was the site of the famous Roman fontes Clusini or Springs of Chiusi, a healing sanctuary featuring a cold water spring said by the poet Horace in his Epistles to have cured the gravely ill emperor Augustus from his stomach pains in 23 B.C. Soren discovered the largest cold water ancient spring and sanctuary in Italy, near Chiusi in the Tuscan town of Chianciano Terme. As a teacher of undergraduates Soren has over the years become a mainstay at the University of Arizona, having taught in class more than 20,000 students and another 17,000 in online courses. It is believed that this may be the record for sheer numbers of students taught ancient art and archaeology in the country. Soren has married to archaeologist Noelle Soren for more than 50 years and they often publish articles and books and do international film work together.



Past Winners of the Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award

2017 Bonna Wescoat
2016 Ann Olga Koloski-Ostrow
2015 Nancy T. de Grummond
2014 Steven L. Tuck
2013 Elise A. Friedland
2012 Mary Hollinshead
2011 Susan Stevens
2010 Michael Galaty
2009 Andrea M. Berlin
2008 Jodi Magness
2007 Joan Breton Connelly
2006 Albert Leonard, Jr.
2005 Eric Cline
2004 Michael Cosmopoulos
2003 David W. McCreery
2002 P. Nick Kardulias
2001 Kevin Glowacki
1999 Patrick M. Thomas
1998 Susan E. Alcock
1997 Curtis N. Runnels
1996 Frederick A. Cooper


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