American historian Mills Kelly receives Gutenberg Teaching Award
Online ceremony for this year’s presentation of the JGU award of excellence in teaching worth EUR 10,000
19 October 2020
The Gutenberg Teaching Council (GTC), the primary institution tasked with promoting teaching at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU), has decided to award the 2019 Gutenberg Teaching Award to American historian Professor Mills Kelly. The Gutenberg Teaching Award comes with a grant worth EUR 10,000 and has been awarded annually since 2014 to scientists, artists, and others from outside the JGU who have made a significant contribution to the development of academic teaching. The winners are usually presented with the award during their stay at JGU. However, since this is not possible currently due to the coronavirus pandemic, the GTC is presenting the 2019 award in an online award ceremony. The winner of the 2018 Gutenberg Teaching Award, the Australian economist Professor Geoffrey Brennan, will be honored at the same time to make up for the fact that he was unable to travel to Mainz last year. "Unfortunately, it is not possible for us to welcome the award winners in Mainz in person this year, as we usually do," said JGU President Professor Georg Krausch. "However, I am happy that we have managed to find a way to pay homage to two outstanding teachers working in higher education in the form of a digital ceremony. We very much hope to welcome Mills Kelly and Geoffrey Brennan in person to Mainz at a later date and look forward to exchanging ideas with them."
Mills Kelly is Professor of History at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, and has become internationally celebrated for his ideas concerning the digitization of teaching. Among other things, he has written the book "Teaching History in the Digital Age", which is now regarded as a standard text, and he was one of the first historians to write blogs and become active on Twitter. He is also committed to innovative project- and research-oriented teaching, as demonstrated by his current undertaking relating to the history of the Appalachian Trail, a long-distance hiking route, that is mainly being realized by younger students. Professor Mills Kelly has already received several teaching awards, including the James Harvey Robinson Prize from the American Historical Association, the world's largest association of historians. "We are honoring Mills Kelly for his achievements in the field of didactics of history that he has accomplished with an eye to current digital challenges," added the Director of the GTC, Professor Andreas Hildebrandt.
Geoffrey Brennan is emeritus professor at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra, at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, as well as at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. "We honor Geoffrey Brennan for developing and holding innovative interdisciplinary study courses combining the disparate disciplines of philosophy, political science, and economics, as well as his decades-long commitment to young researchers," emphasized Hildebrandt.
Earlier recipients of the Gutenberg Teaching Award include Professor Musa Dube, Botswanan theologian and HIV/AIDS commissioner to the World Council of Churches, Professor Carl Wieman, American physicist and Nobel Prize winner, and Professor Masaaki Suzuki from Japan, conductor and founder of the Bach Collegium Japan.
The Gutenberg Teaching Council was founded in 2010 and is one of the three institutions of excellence at JGU that support the promotion of research, teaching, and the career development of young academics. It furthers the interdisciplinary and international nature of teaching and course structures at JGU together with their research and professional orientation, whilst also providing advice to the University Administration and faculties and giving financial support to excellent and innovative teaching at JGU. The GTC Executive Committee consists of university members who have distinguished themselves by their remarkable commitment to teaching and outstanding achievements in the field.