Dr. Teresa Beckham Gramm (right) and Dr. Katie White are recipients of Rhodes’ highest faculty honors for outstanding teaching and research, which were presented April 25 at the annual Rhodes College Awards Convocation held on campus. Also at the ceremony, departmental and service awards were presented to outstanding students, and special scholarship and internship award winners were acknowledged.
Gramm, an associate professor in the Department of Economics, received the Clarence Day Award for Outstanding Teaching. White, an associate professor in the Department of Psychology, received the Clarence Day Award for Outstanding Research and/or Creative Activity. The awards, first given in 1981, were established by businessman and Rhodes alumnus Clarence Day and are provided by the Day Foundation.
The Clarence Day Award for Outstanding Teaching is given to a member of the faculty who has demonstrated excellence in teaching over the previous three years as determined by the assessments of students and colleagues, the effective use of imaginative and creative pedagogy, and motivating students to embrace a life of continuing study.
Since joining Rhodes in 1999, Gramm has become one of the most sought-after professors on campus and has been called a “transformative teacher.” In the words of one of her faculty colleagues, “She inspires our students, who in turn flock to her classes.”
“Professor Gramm is tirelessly enthusiastic in her teaching of economics. Her courses are models of clarity and organization. She is a highly challenging professor who demands excellence from her students,” said Dean of the Faculty Dr. Michael Drompp in presenting the award.
One student wrote, “What I think is the most valuable part of Professor Gramm’s teaching is that I conclude each semester even more curious and hungry to learn.”
Students and colleagues also noted Gramm’s energy and skills as a mentor, collaborating with students on independent research and guiding them through their first professional presentations at economics research conferences. In addition, she is president-elect of Rhodes′ Phi Beta Kappa chapter.
Gramm holds degrees from Agnes Scott College and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
The Clarence Day Award for Outstanding Research and/or Creative Activity is presented to a member of the faculty who has demonstrated that research and/or creative activity is an integral part of his/her vocation and who has published or performed outstanding works over the previous three years that have gained scholarly recognition or critical acclaim.
A 1997 Rhodes alumna, White taught at Centre College and the College of Charleston and was an associate research scientist at Educational Testing Service prior to joining the Rhodes faculty in 2009. She has been an active scholar and scientist, producing articles in top-tier journals as well as two invited book chapters and presenting at several professional conferences.
White’s research investigates memory and language processes in young and older adults, with specific emphasis on the interactions between memory retrieval, language production, and language comprehension. Recently she has begun to explore how emotion influences speech production.
According to a colleague, “Not only has her work led to advances in our understanding of language and other cognitive processes, it has also produced methodologies that have proven useful in a wide range of research efforts in cognitive neuroscience.”
White also has been exceptionally effective in involving students in her research. A Rhodes biology graduate wrote, “Currently I am a second year medical student, and I owe much of my success today to Dr. White’s mentoring. Dr. White was not only an excellent professor, but also an incredibly dedicated research mentor.”
In addition to Rhodes, White has degrees from the University of Florida.