Professor Lynn Holland, touted during orientation as one of nicest professors at the Josef Korbel School, was honored with the Ruth Murray Underhill Award for excellence in teaching this year. Two Korbel professors, including Professor Ilene Grabel, were given awards for excellence in teaching this year at the University of Denver Convocation on October 5, 2011.
The Ruth Murray Underhill Award, in its 12th year, is awarded to adjunct professors in recognition of teaching excellence. Holland teaches mostly graduate courses ranging from economic development to comparative politics. Holland credits the students at Korbel for making her job so easy. “Students come and they often have their own experience, their own motivation for being here, they contribute very substantially to the seminars,” said Holland. Teaching has always been a passion, Holland said, starting when she would make her sisters sit in their basement and listen to her talk about the founding fathers. Before coming to Korbel six years ago, she spent time as a lecturer at CU Denver. “I think you have this trajectory in your life. I’ve done other things, but [teaching] was always the direction I was going in,” said Holland.
Her own research is currently focusing on the role of the coyote guide in immigration to the United States. Holland hopes her students will take the skills she teaches and be able to apply them in developing nations.
“You hope that they will learn new ways of thinking, that they will get new strategies for analyzing problems that they can take into the future,” she said. Holland notes that meeting with students one on one is one of the most satisfying parts of the job.
In 12 years of the award, the Josef Korbel School is one of only two DU schools with multiple professors winning. Peg Sanders won in 2009.
- Sarah Crozier, MA Candidate, International Development