Wellesley’s tradition of academic excellence has always included a world-class faculty intent on intellectually rigorous and energetic engagement in and beyond the classroom.
Building an educational experience that helps students grow intellectually and personally, and that can contribute to knowledge or understanding in their field, is highly valued and frequently recognized by the College.
To support our faculty’s dedication to teaching, Wellesley maintains a faculty-to-student ratio that allows true involvement with students' efforts and coursework, but still allows teachers the bandwidth to continue exploring in their own field. Wellesley offers a number of programs, grants, and awards designed to encourage the art of teaching and enhance the academic experience. The Anna and Samuel Pinanski Teaching Prize and the Apgar Award are given annually to members of the Wellesley College faculty to honor fine teaching, while the Committee on Educational Research and Development distributes competitive grants for development of new courses and revision of existing courses. There are also grants and fellowships available through the Committee on Faculty Awards to support scholarly activities and professional travel.
Endowed by Anne Nelson Apgar '70, the prize is meant to recognize a faculty member who motivates students' interest, curiosity, and love of learning; proposes and applies new teaching concepts and methods; and serves as a mentor to stimulate students' intellectual development. Based upon proposals for new and experimental courses, Educational Research and Development Committee ER&D selects a winner, who receives a plaque.
Anna and Samuel Pinanski Award
The Pinanski Teaching Prize is awarded annually to members of the Wellesley College faculty to honor fine teaching. The Prize may be awarded to as many as three members of the faculty each year, preferably one in each of the College's three academic areas: the humanities, the social sciences, and the natural sciences. The Prize is meant to recognize some particular strength, some style or method or course, or some other describable event that has been especially successful.
Nominations are submitted by the College community. The selection is made by the President in consultation with the Pinanski Prize Committee. The prizes are awarded in recognition of the high quality of teaching at Wellesley. The community does not know the names of the recipients until they are announced at Commencement.
Fellowships and Grants
Faculty members in the humanities or whose research is humanistic in focus may apply to Newhouse Center for the Humanities for Wellesley College fellowships while they are on sabbatical. In keeping with Wellesley's commitment to diversity and scholarship through multiple perspectives, faculty from outside institutions are invited to apply for Newhouse fellowships and visiting professorships.
The Science Center administers grants and fellowships including small grants for plant-related teaching programs.