The Anna and Samuel Pinanski Teaching Prize

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.

David L. Lindauer
Department of Economics
Winner, 2001 Pinanski Prize for Excellence in Teaching

"When I poked through brochures of colleges during my college search, I laughed at Wellesley's claims to having an amazing faculty," wrote one nominator. "I thought, surely every college must make this claim, what makes this one different? The answer came to me during the spring semester of my sophomore year when I took Economics 212 with Professor David Lindauer."

Students consistently praised Professor Lindauer's teaching style. Two students, in a joint nomination, wrote: "When he says 'good work,' we know he means it. When he challenges us in class, it is affirming rather than intimidating."

Another student explained, "it is a rare professor who has the ability to challenge each of his students to reach her ultimate potential without causing a single student to feel as though she sits at the margin of the classroom discussion." David Lindauer's students provide ample evidence that he is such a professor. "He always expected a lot of us," wrote another student, "but at the same time he had faith in our ability to meet his high standards, which in turn gave us confidence." Yet another nominator concurred, writing "he is not just an amazingly clear lecturer, but also an exceptionally devoted educator who brings out the best in his students by expecting only the best."

To illustrate the exceptional devotion about which many of his students commented, one related this story. "Last semester," she wrote, "when I returned to Wellesley unsure of what I wanted to do my final year, Professor Lindauer walked back with me from class and said 'let's have a Wellesley moment.' He sat down with me on a bench in the academic quad and we talked for over an hour about my options for classes and graduate school." Another student, praising his commitment to tailoring his advice to fit the needs of each individual student, noted that she largely attributes to Professor Lindauer's thoughtful guidance the choices she made in college and those she's making as she launches a career.

Perhaps the ultimate compliment from a student to a teacher - the ultimate legacy any teacher can hope to leave - was expressed by a student in her nomination of Professor David Lindauer for this award when she wrote: "I aspire one day to be the type of professor that Mr. Lindauer has been for me."