Safa Jafari Safa, Office of Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org
The AUB Teaching Excellence Award went out this year to Dr. David Currell, assistant professor at the Department of English
, and Lina Ghaibeh, associate professor at the Department of Architecture and Design
. The two faculty members were selected among nominees by the Teaching Excellence Award Committee, based on nominations and recommendations sent by their colleagues and their current and former students.
Currell and Ghaibeh were selected out of 24 finalists reviewed online this year by a committee of faculty, students, alumni, and administration.
“AUB is a very special community of learning; I am fortunate to be part of it and humbled to be honored within it,” said Dr. Currell, who joined AUB’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences
in 2012 after attaining his PhD in English from Yale University. “The Department of English offers a special vantage point from which to be inspired by the collective creativity, resourcefulness, and passion of AUB students from every faculty as they write, perform, translate, and critique. These qualities, and the dedication and talent of my colleagues across the university, have been especially evident throughout this academic year.”
David Currell’s teaching and research centers on Renaissance literature, especially theater in the age of Shakespeare and the epic tradition. Most of his published work explores how Renaissance authors engaged the culture of classical antiquity, and how Renaissance texts have in turn been reread and reinterpreted across the globe and in new media.
Currell was commended by his students as an attentive listener who never shuns their ideas and always dealt with even “strange, insignificant, or irrelevant ideas extremely patiently and appropriately, directing and reshaping them into meaningful ones.” They appreciated his encouragement of their expression of their thoughts in writing through reflections. “He even organized a mini-conference for us to participate in, which introduced most of us to the world of professional academia,” one student said.
“Currell’s reputation preceded him, and I was certainly not disappointed,” stated one testimonial. “During the course, Dr. Currell’s teaching methods also proved to be effective and eclectic.”
Dr. David Currell is the editor of two books, 14 articles and book chapters, and 26 conference papers. He also serves on many committees at AUB.
Ghaibeh received her master’s degree in graphic design, with a minor in photography, from Texas Woman’s University. Her research focuses on comics from the Arab world as part of contemporary Arab culture. Her animated shorts and comics art explore issues of identity, belonging, and human rights, with Beirut as a site of inspiration. She has 13 publications between books, book chapters and articles in journals and periodicals, and two forthcoming articles in journals. Lina has participated in 14 paper presentations, panel moderations, and speeches in conferences.
Current and former students sent statements such as “Lina has a lighthearted attitude that makes her approachable and very likable as a teacher,” “She is very inspiring and is very patient with her students,” “Classes were creatively structured to make use of a variety of learning tools all in the service of building a strong practical, conceptual and cultural understanding of the principles fundamental to the respective disciplines.”
A colleague stated, “Lina helped in establishing the digital media, motion graphics/animation and interaction design component in the curriculum, as early as the mid-90s. A feature that was a novelty at the time, thus making our graphic design program an exceptional and much sought-after academic track.”
“I am humbled and very grateful for this recognition, particularly having attended and celebrated colleagues and friends who have received the award in past years – and who are amazing teachers… a testament to this award,” Ghaibeh told us. “I am most grateful for the stellar students who have given me the opportunity to be part of their exciting journeys and shared their passion and talents with me throughout those years. I am beyond touched by the letters that poured in from students and colleagues attesting to my teaching or having impacted them in some small way.” Ghaibeh also gave credit to the program, department, and faculty she works within, “It is the enriching, nurturing and supportive environment that enabled me to thrive and be creative in my teaching.”