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   SFSU professor wins highest national award for excellence in teaching classics



Matt Itelson

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Press Release published by the Office of Public Affairs

SAN FRANCISCO, January 22, 2002 - Pamela Vaughn, San Francisco State University associate professor of classics, was recently honored with the most coveted teaching award for a classics scholar in the United States.

Vaughn, a resident of San Francisco's Sunset District, received the 2001 Excellence in Teaching award from the American Philological Association (APA) at its 133rd annual meeting on Jan. 5 in Philadelphia. The annual award is given to instructors who demonstrate teaching excellence in classic literature, culture, mythology, history and/or etymology at the undergraduate level. Criteria also include the creation of new courses and programs. The award carries a prize of $300.

"She has done everything that a dedicated and innovative teacher of the classics can do," said Florida State University classics Professor Jeffrey Tatum, who presented the award and is chair of APA's awards committee. "She has enriched our profession through her devotion to students at her university and to students in the schools - and, owing to her extraordinary commitment to academic leadership, she has become a mentor for faculty in more than one discipline."

Vaughn teaches beginning and intermediate Latin, Greek and mythology courses, as well as graduate seminars on varied topics including language and literature, Julius Caesar, and Greek and Roman historical writers. She is chair of two academic departments - Classics and World and Comparative Literature - as well as the SFSU Academic Senate, a faculty body that creates University policies and procedures regarding faculty, administrators, curriculum, student affairs, business and fiscal matters, academic and professional standards, and other matters. Vaughn is also faculty adviser to the SFSU Classics Students Association and is on the board of directors of the California Classical Association.

"This is the best possible thing that could happen to me, to be recognized by my peers," she said. "Being a teacher is all I ever wanted."

Kelli Stanley, a classics graduate student and president of the Classics Students Association, said Vaughn has inspired her to pursue a career teaching classics at the university level and writing novels.

"Her passion and love for what she teaches is absolutely infectious and, just as important, she inspires you to believe in yourself," Stanley said. "She is responsible for the fulfillment of my dreams."

Vaughn, who has nearly 20 years of teaching experience, joined SFSU in 1993 from California State University at Fresno.

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