Rebecca Tucker, associate professor of art at Colorado College, has been selected as the 2012 recipient of the Ray O. Werner Award for Exemplary Teaching in the Liberal Arts.
Tucker specializes in Renaissance and Baroque art of Northern Europe, and emphasizes student collaboration and discussion in her class. She integrates new technology, group learning, and problem-based methods in her lessons, and is described as a “consistently innovative” professor. Research assignments in her class range from straightforward essays, to art exhibition construction and explanations, to writing theses or mock textbook chapters.
Students praise her deep knowledge of art and passion for the subject, which permeate each lecture. Tucker earns the respect of students and colleagues with her impressive scholarship, her infectious enthusiasm for teaching, and her patience and ability to challenge students. She has produced valuable research in art history and has filled a void in her field by focusing primarily on courtly environments of the 17th century in Northern Europe. She often explores the “whys” of art history by examining the commissioning and ownership of art, and how it is displayed and arranged, to reveal social and ideological agendas. Tucker recently spent time in Amsterdam conducting research for a manuscript on courtly patronage of Dutch art.
The award is named after Ray O. Werner, an economics professor from 1948 to 1987 who lived his conviction that teaching in the liberal arts should focus on the whole person, and that a liberal arts education should yield a refined, broadly educated human being. Tucker was selected because she vividly exemplifies the art of teaching.