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Birch, Sahakian, receive 2021 Russell Awards

Alan Flurry

Three UGA faculty members, two from the Franklin College, have been named recipients of the Richard B. Russell Awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, which recognize outstanding instruction by faculty members early in their academic careers.

The Russell Foundation established the Russell Awards during the 1991-1992 academic year to honor the late U.S. Sen. Richard B. Russell. The awards include a $10,000 cash award:

The 2021 Russell Award recipients are:

  • Jennifer Birch, associate professor of anthropology in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences;
  • Jonathan Peters, associate professor of journalism in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication with a courtesy appointment in the School of Law; and
  • Emily Sahakian, associate professor of theatre and film studies, and of Romance languages in the Franklin College.
Jennifer Birch

Birch has transformed how archaeology is taught at UGA, making the archaeology field school a learning experience that engages students throughout the entire process of research, from design to testing, skill development, writing, and culminating with professional presentations.


Emily Sahakian

Sahakian is a multifaceted instructor of both theatre and French-language literature and culture, often teaching courses that bridge both areas. She incorporates innovative experiential strategies, like staged readings and translation workshops, in her classes to encourage a more open and active learning environment. Sahakian is invested in her students’ development as effective communicators of the French language, as well as French-language culture. She created new service-based learning options through courses in community-based theatre. These activities with community partners allow space for creativity and help students actively and broadly apply their skills and deepen comprehension.

Read more at the link. Congratulations to these wonderful colleagues on this important, early-career honor.

Image: Emily Sahakian, an associate professor of theatre and film studies and of Romance languages in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. (Photo by Dorothy Kozlowski/UGA)


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