2007 Recipients of the McCormick and Alumnæ Teaching Professorships

Martina Bode
Charles Deering McCormick University Distinguished Lecturer

On her arrival at Northwestern in 2000 as lecturer and director of calculus, Bode infused enormous energy and enthusiasm into the calculus program’s undergraduate instruction. Bode transformed the calculus syllabus and quickly became known for the remarkable response she elicits from students and the sincere empathy she has for their needs as individuals and unique learners. Given the large number of disciplines that require calculus of their majors, Bode’s influence at the undergraduate level has been broad and pervasive. With a deep appreciation for her “mix of compassion, intellect, and humor,” one student describes class with Bode as an “adventure” on which student voyagers “love to take the challenge, hate to miss the instructor’s wit, and enjoy raising their hands in wonder.” Bode’s innovative pedagogy is also characterized by the thoughtful incorporation of classroom technologies -- in particular by her pioneering use of “student response systems” to promote interaction and provide instant “snapshots” of student comprehension.

Bode has received the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences Alumni Teaching Award and is a four-time member of the Associated Student Government Faculty Honor Roll.

In 2003, Bode became a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mathematics in 2003. Before joining Northwestern University in 2000, she taught at Tufts University , Wellesley College and Harvard University.

Paul Edwards
Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence

Edwards has become well-known and respected for his passionate instruction, devotion to his field, and the high standards of excellence he demands from his students as intellectuals and as artists. Edwards possesses a rare ability to challenge students aggressively while simultaneously and deliberately endeavoring to learn from them. Through productive collaborations with undergraduates, whose interests in performance and technology often coincide closely with his own, Edwards has continuously refined his pedagogy in innovative ways.

Summarizing Edwards’s tremendous attributes as a teacher and mentor, students commend his complementary “expertise in the fields of literature, film, and performance,” appreciate his “genuine interest in his students,” and are grateful for his “sensitive, yet productive perspectives on their work.” It is Edwards’ willingness and ability to commit to the growth of his students that makes him one of the University’s most admired and effective teachers of undergraduates.

Edwards, who joined Northwestern in 1979, is the recipient of the University Alumni Association’s Excellence in Teaching Award and a four-time member of the Associated Student Government Faculty Honor Roll. For theatrical work in Chicago , Edwards has received the Joseph Jefferson Award and Citation and the After Dark Award; the National Communication Association has recognized his career achievement in performance with the Leslie Irene Coger Award and honored his published research with the Lilla A. Heston Award.

Peter Hayes
Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence

Hayes has long been known as one of the most popular and effective undergraduate lecturers in a department of committed and accomplished teachers. An expert in the history of Germany in the 20th century, Hayes has become a “living legend” among undergraduate students who relish his “careful combination of professionalism and encouragement,” “infectious passion” and lectures that command “unblemished attention from the audience.” Hayes says, “Teaching for me is, first and foremost, an evocative act. I never go into a classroom without thinking that my primary job is to bring both the material and the students to life.” The outstanding accolades Hayes receives from students are testament to his success in providing a learning milieu characterized by intellectual excitement.

Hayes, who joined Northwestern in 1980 as an instructor of history, is the author of seven books, including “ From Cooperation to Complicity: Degussa in the Third Reich” (2004) and a prize-winning study of the IG Farben Corporation in the Nazi era. He has held fellowships from the DAAD, the ACLS, the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. He is a member of the Academic Board of the German Society for Business History and of the Academic Committee of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council, and in 2006 the German Foreign Minister named him to the Independent Historians Commission on the German Diplomatic Service.

Hayes was promoted to professor of history and German in 1993 and has held the Weiss Professorship since 2000.

Jules Law
Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence

Law, who joined the Northwestern faculty in 1987 as an assistant professor of English in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, is a specialist in literary theory and in Victorian literature. Whether delivering a large and enthralling lecture, or leading an interactive and intense upper-level seminar in the Socratic style, Law builds extraordinary rapport with students through direct engagement with their ideas. Beneficiaries of Law’s dynamic pedagogy describe him as “fiercely committed to a rigorous classroom environment” and “tough, but nurturing at the same time.”

Law is able to demonstrate the most complex literary-theoretical concepts through examples in popular culture, music and film. As such he gives students access to and ownership of critical skills and knowledge sets to apply to historical and contemporary problems. Law is also the rare teacher who is sought out for the difficulty of his courses and intense focus on the refinement of student writing. For many students, Law embodies what they want to be and become, both as persons and as intellectuals. In his own words, Law’s mission as a teacher is “not only to make better students, but to make better citizens.”

Law is the author of numerous scholarly articles and “The Rhetoric of Empiricism: Language and Perception from Locke to I.A. Richards.” He is currently working on his second book, “The Secret Life of Fluids: Body, Space, and Social Control in the Victorian Novel.” Law has been awarded the E. Leroy Hall Award for Excellence in Teaching from the Weinberg College.

Kevin M. Lynch
Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence

Lynch has had an extraordinary impact on the undergraduate educational experience in mechanical engineering as well as in the McCormick School. Active in curriculum development and directing many undergraduate activities, Lynch established the discipline of mechatronics design at Northwestern. He is the creator of "Introduction to Mechatronics (ME333)," a course on microprocessor-controlled electromechanical systems which culminates in student team demonstrations of their mechatronic systems to peers and faculty. 

In connection with ME 333, Lynch sought funding for, designed, and launched the Mechatronics Laboratory, a flagship facility in the Ford Motor Company Engineering Design Center. This laboratory has provided design opportunities for a number of undergraduate engineering courses and has been used extensively by students competing in the annual student-run Design Competition. Lynch is an accessible and provocative sounding board for student ideas, and, as a creator of intellectual opportunities, Lynch has had a profound influence on many young engineers' academic and professional pathways.

Lynch is a recipient of the McCormick School's Teacher of the Year Award and the Society of Automotive Engineers Ralph R. Teetor Education Award for outstanding engineering educators. He recently co-authored a textbook entitled Principles of Robot Motion. He is co-director of the Laboratory for Intelligent Mechanical Systems and is a senior editor of the IEEE Transactions on Robotics.

Lynch joined Northwestern as assistant professor of mechanical engineering in 1997 and became associate professor in 2003.