Geography and international affairs professor named best in the District

A GW professor was named 2006 District of Columbia Professor of the Year last month.

Geography and International Affairs associate professor Elizabeth Chacko received the award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. She was selected from a pool of more than 300 top professors in the U.S. Four American professors of the year are also selected by the group.

“I feel very honored, particularly because I know that most professors value good teaching and are very enthusiastic about sharing their love for their discipline with their students,” Chacko said.

Chacko said that she has used some non-traditional methods of teaching, especially in her courses for the Dean’s Scholars in Globalization program. In her courses, she incorporates geographic information system mapping, field exercises and discussion, she said.

She added that teaching allows her to convey her passion for geography to her students while fostering critical thinking skills. She also said that she has been able to find an effective balance between teaching and research.

“Elizabeth Chacko demonstrates that at GW top faculty scholars are also top teachers,” Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Donald Lehman said in a press release. Chacko said that her teaching and research fit together well.

“I also like teaching because it is invigorating to be with young people who enjoy thinking about, discussing and debating issues that are of critical importance to us and our world,” Chacko said.

This is the second consecutive year a GW professor has been given this title. Last year, Matthew O’Gara received the award for his work as a lecturer in the University Honors Program and Elliott School of International Affairs. Since the award was established in 1981, six GW professors have received the title.

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