Headshot of Linda Bell
Provost Linda Bell

The Center for Engaged Pedagogy (CEP) was named the inaugural winner of the Linda A. Bell Award for Collaborative Creativity and Excellence in Teaching during a May 3 faculty meeting. The new award was created to show recognition to Provost Bell and to faculty around the College for how they stepped up over the course of 2020 to keep Barnard’s academic excellence thriving during times of difficult circumstances and uncertainty.

The award will be given annually to the group whose teaching efforts most embody Provost Bell’s willingness to listen, experiment, and collaborate with others as well as her commitment to achieving academic excellence and innovation.

“I’m so very moved,” said Provost Bell. “It’s an honor and a privilege to be your provost. You are really an amazing faculty, and you’ve shown your spirit, your drive, your compassion, and your commitment to this institution in so many extraordinary ways, individually and collectively, this past year. It’s really been wonderful.”

The CEP’s mission is to foster collaborations between faculty and students in pursuit of an aspirational vision of teaching and learning where student-centered pedagogies are amplified and constantly innovated. The Center was selected to receive this year’s award for their instrumental pedagogical collaborations with faculty while shepherding Barnard’s transition to an online curriculum during the COVID-19 pandemic and for helping the College respond in a sustained and thoughtful way to the rising calls for social justice. Led by Jennifer Rosales, the CEP’s full team includes Alex Pittman, Joscelyn Jurich, Annabelle Tseng, and Hana Rivers ’20.

Zoom screenshot of the CEP team meeting during the pandemic
A Zoom screenshot of a CEP team meeting

The CEP’s programming throughout the pandemic featured a Summer Pedagogy Symposium about teaching virtually, a monthly Institute on Antiracism, and a series of workshops about incorporating teaching on sustainability across departments. Through each of these programs, the CEP modeled an inclusive approach to collaborative teaching and worked seamlessly to nurture these teaching practices in others.

“As provost, Linda’s trust, ingenuity, and thoughtfulness set the stage for an inclusive and creative culture of pedagogy at Barnard during such a tumultuous and challenging time,” said Rosales. “To receive an award in her name is such an honor for the CEP, for my team, and for myself. To be recognized by the chairs of the academic departments and programs is wonderful validation for all of our work this past year. The chairs and all of the faculty we have worked with have demonstrated such a deep commitment to creativity, collaboration, and care in advancing academic excellence at the College.”

The work of the CEP during the pandemic is especially striking given that it was founded only two years ago, with Rosales joining Barnard six months before the College went virtual in observation of social-distancing guidelines. 

The CEP was nominated for the award by faculty members Thea Renda Abu El-Haj, Rachel Austin, Peter Connor, and Severin Fowles.