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Prof. Babcock (second row, left) with students from his Roman Satire course.

Professor Robert Babcock has received a Tanner Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.  Each year, five faculty members from across the university receive the award, established to “recognize excellence in inspirational teaching of undergraduate students, particularly first- and second-year students.”  The University Committee on Teaching Awards encourages students to nominate faculty, and chooses recipients who “promote the value of undergraduate teaching by example, demonstrate concern for students through interaction and approachability inside and outside the classroom, create meaningful learning experiences and maintain high expectations of their students.”  For a full list of winners, see here.


The following remarks were given at a banquet celebrating the recipients in April:

In his nomination letters, Dr. Babcock is described as a dynamic educator who regularly teaches undergraduates of all levels, from first-year to advanced undergraduates.  He is described as an educator who is “constantly seeking ways to improve his courses,” even though “his student course evaluations are consistently among the best in the department.”  His contributions to undergraduate teaching “extend far beyond his own courses,” as he also mentors graduate students who are new to teaching by providing feedback on syllabi and attending their lectures.  Students describe Dr. Babcock as “kind, passionate, and engaging,” and as someone who “inspires students by always making his own specialty relevant to the course material.”  In regards to one of his courses, one student writes: “This has been one of the most enjoyable language courses I’ve taken over my career at UNC, and it has reaffirmed my passion for the study of the classical world.”  One colleague describes him as “extremely ambitious about how good he wants students to become at Latin.”  Dr. Babcock received among the greatest number of nominations from students and colleagues for the 2018 Tanner Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.

Robert Babcock is Alumni Distinguished Professor and has been on the Classics department faculty since 2008.  His research interests include paleography, medieval Latin, and the reception of Latin authors.  You can read his full bio here.