The Jeffrey B. Ferguson Memorial Teaching Prize
Description of the Prize
The Jeffrey B. Ferguson Memorial Teaching Prize honors the memory of an accomplished scholar and beloved Amherst College professor. The inaugural Karen and Brian Conway ’80, P’18 Presidential Teaching Professor at the college, Jeff Ferguson taught in the Department of Black Studies for more than two decades. The departmental curriculum that he designed, and his skills and dedication as a teacher, provided the opportunity for countless students to develop foundational intellectual skills that transformed their lives and contributed to their success—during their time at Amherst and beyond. Professor Ferguson enabled students to become close readers and persuasive writers who grounded their scholarly work in sound argumentation and thorough research. The Ferguson Prize is awarded to Amherst faculty members who see teaching as an art and vocation, engage in pedagogical innovation in their courses, have a significant impact in their department or program and on the broader curriculum, help students develop foundational skills in the finest liberal arts tradition, inspire students and colleagues alike to cultivate the life of the mind, and have a lasting impact on students’ intellectual and personal development. Current tenured faculty members, senior lecturers, and senior resident artists are eligible for the prize. The recipient of the prize is announced at the commencement faculty meeting each year and is later expected to give a public talk focusing on teaching. The provost and dean of the faculty solicits nominees for the prize from current students and faculty, and from Amherst alumni. Self-nominations are not accepted. The Faculty Executive Committee selects the prize recipients. Individuals may only receive the prize once.