Eve Grace, associate professor of political science, is the first recipient of the William R. Hochman Teaching Award, established to honor William R. Hochman, professor emeritus of history, who joined the college in 1955.
The annual award is to encourage commitment to teaching as a scholarly endeavor and reinforce the kind of teaching Hochman has stood for at Colorado College.
Grace, who teaches political philosophy, is “one of the most conscientious, challenging teachers at the college with extraordinarily high standards,” according to the letter nominating her for the award. “Her students develop critical thinking skills that become a crucial part of their formation as citizens and human beings.”
Grace encourages students to engage with primary source texts in political philosophy, and to question the authors’ arguments. Her syllabus for a course emphasizes active learning: “In this course, one is expected to enter into a dialogue, as it were, with the authors, pressing them to explain themselves ever more fully.” By confronting and reflecting carefully on the different views in the readings, she says, students will gain clarity and rigor regarding what they think and why.
She has taught at Colorado College since 1993 and earned a B.A. (magna cum laude) from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Toronto. She is working on a book on the problem of conscience in Rousseau’s thought.
Hochman, an emeritus professor, is an authority on the Bill of Rights and known for his exemplary teaching. In 2000, Phil Swan (Class of 1984), a member of the Board of Trustees, established the William R. Hochman Endowed Chair in History in honor of his former professor. Anne Hyde, professor of history, currently holds the chair.
The criteria for the award include teaching that:
- fosters critical thinking
- addresses broad questions, often in an interdisciplinary mode
- reflects concern for personal values, civic conscience, and public action
- takes as its ultimate objective the development of students as human beings.