Daigre and Goldberg Win Teaching Honors

University and CLA awards go to English instructors for outstanding contributions to undergraduate education
Side by side photos: on left, person with very short hair and light skin, wearing suit and gesturing with left hand; on right, person with dark short hair and light skin, wearing glasses and pink shirt and holding book in right hand
Professor Brian Goldberg (left) and Senior Lecturer Eric Daigre

Two English instructors won teaching awards this spring, in a mark of the Department of English's continued commitment to inspiring and challenging students. Associate Professor Brian Goldberg was recognized with the University's highest honor for undergraduate teaching, the Horace T. Morse-University of Minnesota Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education. Senior Lecturer Eric Daigre, 2019 winner of the Morse-Alumni Association Award, this year received the College of Liberal Arts Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award, an inaugural honor recognizing outstanding non-tenure-track instructors. Daigre was also awarded a 2023 CLA Community-Engaged Learning Grant for his course ENGL 3506: "Social Movements & Community Education."

"Prof Goldberg is the best," noted a former student on Facebook. "His class was always a favorite!" Goldberg has taught courses from large lectures ("Intro to Literature," "Survey of British Literature II") to small seminars ("Poetry & Poetic Form," "Poems About Cities," a senior seminar on John Keats). He previously won the Ruth R. Christie Distinguished Teaching Award and the Council of Graduate Students Outstanding Faculty Award, voted on by English undergraduate and graduate students, respectively.

In addition, Goldberg has served one term as department Director of Undergraduate Studies and twice as interim DUS (including spring 2023). He has acted as advisor for numerous undergraduate honors theses. A scholar of British 18th-century and romantic literature, Goldberg joined the English faculty in 2000. He is the author of The Lake Poets and Professional Identity (Cambridge University Press). On Instagram, a former student offered a one-word response to the award news: "LEGEND!"

Former students also celebrated Daigre's recognition with versions of "Eric is the best!" A PhD alum, Daigre was one of the architects of the department's signature experiential learning and civic engagement classes back in 2002. His courses "Protest Literature & Community Action," "Social Movements & Community Education," and "Literacy & American Cultural Diversity" place students at local schools, adult education centers, and social-justice organizations, while class discussions focus on connections between community work and literature, education, and activism. Daigre helps the department stay vitally connected to local community organizations and schools.

Students regularly recommend Daigre's classes via our English Major Spotlight interviews; as one student noted of ENGL 3506 "Social Movements": "The required classwork challenges one to think more critically about the world around us and compare it to our thoughts on what equitability in action looks like." Another former student wrote on Facebook, "Eric Daigre was hands down the most influential teacher I had in college. He steered the course of my teaching career and impacted the way I see the world. I am ecstatic to see him honored!"

We in the Department of English concur, and are grateful for and proud of these excellent teachers.

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