Wolf, Goldman Receive University Recognition

Chemistry professor Christian Wolf and theater professor and Artistic Director of the Davis Performing Arts Center Derek Goldman will receive the President’s Awards for Distinguished Scholar-Teachers from University President John J. DeGioia at the Fall Faculty Convocation next Wednesday.

Since 2013, the distinction has been given annually to recognize excellence in faculty research and teaching. Recipients are selected through nomination and selection processes that involve all faculty members.

DeGioia announced the winners in a university-wide email last Friday, praising the two professors’ contributions to their respective departments.

According to Senior Advisor to the President for Faculty Relations Lisa Krim, there has been a diverse range of faculty members who have won this award.

“In the first two years, the faculty came from wide-ranging fields: history, pharmacology, law, mathematics and pathology,” Krim wrote in an email to The Hoya.

While all faculty members can submit nominations, a committee comprised of senior faculty members and previous award winners creates a shortlist of professors for DeGioia, who makes the final decision from the recommended candidates. Eligible nominees are generally tenured or clinician track scholars.

Wolf, who joined Georgetown in 2000, teaches both undergraduate and graduate chemistry courses, including Organic Chemistry I and II, an advanced course in synthesis and graduate courses on synthesis and stereochemistry.

In his email announcing the winners, DeGioia commended Wolf for inspiring students who are interested in chemistry.

“[Wolf] has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to his students’ learning, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, inspiring many to go on to make their own contributions in the field,” DeGioia wrote.

In addition to teaching, Wolf participated in groundbreaking research in the chiral compound field of organic chemistry.

“Our research is dealing with the making and analysis of organic compounds that are all chiral. Chiral compounds are compounds that exist in the form of non super-imposable mirror images, like our hands,” Wolf said.

Wolf said that he appreciates how the award combines both teaching and research in its selection criteria.

“What I like about this award is that it looks at the whole picture of research and teaching, which in my opinion, belong together. When I do research, I do it with my students,” Wolf said.

Goldman, a theater professor who also serves as founding director of the Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics, joined the university faculty 11 years ago.

DeGioia praised Goldman for his involvement in various performing arts initiatives at Georgetown.

“Professor Goldman’s unparalleled vision, spirit of collaboration and dedication to our students has enriched our community in deep and lasting ways over the course of his time teaching and directing in the Department of Performing Arts,” DeGioia wrote.

Goldman said that he was surprised by the number of students who were passionate about both politics and theater when he first arrived at Georgetown.

“Georgetown has surpassed my expectations in every way because I knew that it was a great university with an international footprint. … I didn’t realize the degree to which students would lead with a dual passion for theater and politics,” Goldman said.

Goldman founded LGPP with Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy Cynthia Schneider in 2013 as a means of fostering collaboration with other performing arts institutions around the world. Since it was launched, the LGPP has organized dozens of international performances and workshops.

“Theater is incredibly local on one level. … But it is also connecting the intimately local with the global. Global theater is about what is already global and diverse in the room with you,” Goldman said.

Goldman said that he finds his work at Georgetown meaningful.

“It has been a great mid-life, mid-career learning experience for me … to be able to have projects that are really exploring why theater matters in 2015, what it offers that other art forms don’t, particularly in the landscape of politics and social change.”

Both recipients attributed their success to the students and faculty with whom they work at Georgetown.

“I was very surprised, gratified and humbled because I think theater is so collaborative and it is impossible to think of this work without a whole range of colleagues. … I really share the award with all the people I get to do this work with,” Goldman said.


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