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Daniel J. Philippon Receives 2016-17 Morse-Alumni Teaching Award

May 10, 2017

Portrait: Associate Professor Daniel Philippon

Portrait: Associate Professor Daniel Philippon
Daniel Philippon, Associate Professor, Department of English (Photo by Patrick O'Leary)
“Everywhere I go I’m always looking for potential material I can use in my courses, whether that be a book, an idea, a conversation, or an anecdote.”

Though trained as a traditional literary critic, Daniel Philippon has used his passion for environmentalism to revolutionize the English curriculum.

To be sure of serving the best interests of students, he created an annual exit survey to learn what students really think, launched an exchange program with the University of East Anglia—a lower-priced study abroad experience—sought and won a grant to create a section of the course Introduction to Literature geared to nonnative English speakers, and began a career day for undergraduates.

“A huge amount of his time as director of undergraduate studies is spent advising staff, faculty, and students about every aspect of research and especially teaching,” says a colleague.

In his popular annual “Faculty Teaching Tips” session for beginning teachers, Philippon shows that he cares for teaching assistants as much as he does students.

For example, he stresses to new TAs the humanity of undergraduates and the value of trying to see things from their perspective. He also gives generously of his time to each lecturer during their annual reviews, a major reason why lecturers in his department feel especially supported in their teaching.

“Few professors have had such a profound impact on my thinking, writing and perception of the world around me,” says a former student.

“He is the finest instructor I have had the pleasure of knowing or working with,” says a former faculty colleague.