Performing and Media Arts professor Amy Villarejo was selected as the first recipient of the Morgan Chia-Wen Sze and Bobbi Josephine Hernandez Distinguished Teaching Prize. The $25,000 prize was established to recognize professorial faculty in the College of Arts & Sciences for excellence in teaching.
“I have never come across a student who wasn’t deeply engaged and fully invested in her classes,” wrote associate professor Sabine Haenni in a letter recommending Villarejo for the prize.
Referring to the time she sat in on Villarejo’s “Literary Theory on the Edge” class, Haenni said, “It made me remember why I myself fell in love with learning a long time ago: Amy is the kind of professor who makes that happen for students, time and again.”
Villarejo was recently named the first faculty director for the Milstein Program in Technology and Humanity, and she served as chair of the Department of Performing and Media Arts from 2008 to 2015. Her research interests include feminist and queer media, documentary film, Brazilian cinema, Indian cinema, American television, critical theory, and cultural studies.
Villarejo was chosen as the recipient from the humanities, and in 2019 and 2020 the award will go to faculty from natural sciences/math and social sciences, respectively. The donors encourage the prize recipients to travel so they can “bring the world back to Cornell.”