Six MIT SHASS educators receive 2023 Levitan Teaching Awards

Clockwise from top left: Nicholas Ackert, Nilma Dominque, Caitlyn Doyle, Margery Resnick, Teresa Neff, and Emily Goodling

The awards honor outstanding success in teaching undergraduate and graduate students.

School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

May 18, 2023

Six individuals have received the James A. and Ruth Levitan Teaching Award for 2023. The award, given annually by the MIT School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (SHASS), honors superlative teachers across the school, who have been nominated by MIT students.

The 2023 winners are: Nicholas Ackert in the Department of Political Science, Nilma Dominique in the Global Languages Section, Caitlyn Doyle in the Literature Section, Emily Goodling in the Global Languages Section, Teresa Neff in the Music and Theater Arts Section, and Margery Resnick in the Literature Section.

Each honoree is introduced below with a quote from their student nominations.

Nicholas Ackert, teaching assistant in political science

“I can confidently say that within our section, many students believed Nick was the best TA they have ever had during their time at MIT. Nick provided important context for lecture topics and relevant foreign policy events every section. His passion for the subject and energy showed through each and every week.”

Nilma Dominique, lecturer in global languages

“She’s a teacher both inside and outside of the classroom. She cares about her students learning Portuguese and learning about the intricacies of Brazilian culture, but she never sacrifices teaching a lesson over the well-being of her students. This includes gentle but firm corrections when her students let a bit of Spanish slip during class, when a student needs an extension for an assignment, and when her online students need more emotional and social supplements to their language learning.”

Caitlyn Doyle, lecturer in literature

“The way that Professor Doyle interacts with her students during lecture is not only a showcase of her deep understanding of the material we are covering on a given day, but also of a genuine passion for that material, and for teaching itself. She challenges us to go beyond understanding the texts in a vacuum, and instead asks us to consider them with respect to the other material we’ve read, our own experiences, and current historical moment.”

Emily Goodling, lecturer in global languages

“Ms. Goodling’s influence extends beyond the classroom. She organizes “Stammtisch,” a weekly gathering for German-speaking individuals of all levels to come together and practice their language skills. Ms. Goodling’s exceptional teaching style, dedication to her students, and personalized approach to teaching make her an outstanding instructor. She goes above and beyond to provide learning opportunities, and her passion for German culture is infectious. We, as her students, are fortunate to have her as our instructor and friend.”

Teresa Neff, senior lecturer in music

“Professor Neff is one of the most approachable lecturers. She understands the overall needs of the class and allows for enough flexibility in her instruction that ensures everyone meets the goals of the class in a reasonable way.”

Margery Resnick, associate professor in literature

“Professor Resnick is engaging, compassionate, and fully committed to her students. I first took her Spanish literature and film class in the spring of 2020. The class, which began in person, was always interesting and interactive. The content and pace were thoroughly planned but also adjusted based on our class’s interests and understanding. Once the Covid pandemic sent everyone home, Prof. Resnick made sure to check in on her students. Class became a non-stressful escape from the pandemic.”

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