Professor of Art History Michele Greet Wins Award for Innovative Teaching

Professor of Art History Michele Greet Wins Award for Innovative Teaching

Michele Greet, Professor of Art History and Director of the Art History Program has been awarded a Teaching Excellence Award from Mason’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS).

Michele Greet was recognized for her courses that employ an “inquiry-based focus,” departing from the usual lecture format. In these courses, Greet asks students to compare and discuss artworks through their own observation; they thus discover nuances, differences, and similarities on their own before Greet fills in necessary background information. Greet was also recognized for the variety of courses and experiences she has designed for students. One, a “Self Portrait” assignment, asked students to create a self-portrait and reflect upon the choices that they had to make in producing the image, from the objects that chose to include to the setting or composition of the work. As Greet explains it, “This assignment took a process that many assume is intuitive (taking a selfie) and made it into a reflective exercise on composition. …[and] leads to a deeper-level of understanding of process and visual communication.”

Greet has also won grants for teaching initiatives. She was awarded an OSCAR Course Scholarship Development Grant for a course in which students curated an exhibition entitled, “Evoking Place: Fifty Years of Landscapes from the Art Museum of the Americas.” The course exposed students to the multiple stages and tasks involved in the production and installation of an exhibition. She also was awarded a Global Discovery Grant to take students in her Mexican Muralism course to Mexico City during Spring break, so they could see the murals they had been studying in class at first hand. 

The award reflects Greet’s deep commitment to teaching and to her students. According to the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, “University Teaching Excellence Award recipients are selected for the significant work they devote to course planning and preparation, curriculum development, innovative teaching, advising, and undergraduate and graduate mentoring. Those recognized as Teachers of Distinction are faculty members who have been finalists for the Teaching Excellence Award and are recognized across campus for their exceptional teaching and commitment to teaching-related activities. Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences Ann Ardis adds, “The Teaching Excellence Awards celebrate the dedication of our faculty and serve as a testament to their profound impact on their students’ academic success …It’s great to see the commitment of our colleagues to creating supportive and engaging environments for our students—in-person and online—recognized by the university community.” A ceremony honoring the seven winners of the award was held on April 15, 2024.