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Susan Stevens Receives National Teaching Award

LYNCHBURG–Susan Stevens, a Randolph College classics professor, will receive the 2011 Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award from the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA).

The AIA awards committee chooses one winner each year it feels demonstrates excellence in the teaching of archaeology. Nominations come from colleagues and students. Stevens will receive the award January 7, 2011 at the annual joint meeting of the AIA and the American Philological Association in San Antonio, Texas.

“It is really gratifying to be recognized for my undergraduate teaching,” Stevens said. “I’m proud to be a part of an organization that recognizes the efforts of teachers and I am appreciative of my students for participating in this.”

Two of Stevens’ students, Rhiannon Knol ’11 and Eric Struble ’11, are presenting a paper at the conference and will also be in attendance to see Stevens receive her award.

Stevens earned her undergraduate degree from the University of South Carolina and her master’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She has taught at Randolph since 1993 and is now the Catherine E. and William E. Thoresen Chair of Humanities.

Her expertise centers on Roman and Early Christian art and archeology, burial archeology, and late Roman architecture. In addition to teaching Latin and archeology courses at Randolph, Stevens also regularly conducts fieldwork, most recently in Tunisia. She is co director of excavations at Leptiminus at an underground Christian burial complex. She also speaks Latin, Greek, French, German, Spanish, Italian, and Tunisian Arabic.

As president of the Lynchburg chapter of the AIA, Stevens helps coordinate four speakers a year for the community. “Most small cities do not even have chapters,” she said. “Ours is pretty active.”

The AIA award is especially important to Stevens because of its emphasis on teaching in archaeology. “It means a lot to be celebrated specifically for teaching in the area of my own research and for bringing undergraduates into archaeology,” she said.

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