University of Groningen Senior Lecturer Monika Baar is the winner of the third annual European Award for Excellence in Teaching in the Social Sciences and Humanities. The award, initiated by CEU Provost and Pro-Rector Liviu Matei and overseen by the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) aims to promote excellence in teaching across the European Higher Education Area. Baar, a 1995 graduate of CEU (MA in History), earned her doctorate at the University of Oxford. Her teaching in Groningen's Department of History focuses on cultural and intellectual history, with special attention given to Central and Eastern Europe.
Baar, a native of Budapest, teaches her students to critically interrogate standard historical accounts and she encourages them to grapple with complex political events through projects involving music, cinema, theatre and the writing of historical fiction. “I am deeply committed to advancing the cause of the humanities because I believe that teaching involves more than equipping students with transferable skills and contributing to economic growth, important as these objectives are,” Baar wrote in her application letter. “Relying on the most recent directions in research, I have devised new courses which go beyond the Cold War dichotomies and help Dutch and international students to acquire a more subtle understanding of the region.”
CEU President and Rector John Shattuck will present the award and its accompanying €5,000 Diener Prize to Baar at CEU's opening ceremony for academic year 2014-2015 in September.
The Diener Prize is made possible by a generous gift from Steven and Linda Diener in memory of Ilona Diener. As part of its ongoing commitment to excellence in teaching, CEU is planning a program of annual Distinguished Teacher Awards and Teaching Development Grants for CEU faculty in collaboration with CTL.