Toggle menu

1996 Goldman Prize for Excellence in Teaching

The Goldman Prize is awarded to recognize excellence in teaching. The Goldman Prize Committee considers research and public service as they contribute to superior performance in the classroom. Students nominate professors who distinguish themselves in these categories. This year the Goldman Committee is pleased to announce the selection of Graeme Dinwoodie, John Murphy, and Michael Van Alstine as this year's recipients of the Goldman Prize for Excellence in Teaching. The Committee recognizes and applauds each of these professors for their outstanding work.

During his first two years at the College of Law, Professor Graeme Dinwoodie has been praised by students as being an excellent classroom instructor. His enthusiasm for and knowledge of the subject matter of his classes, whether it be civil procedure or intellectual property, has been repeatedly noted. Students specifically cite Professor Dinwoodie's classroom style, his respect for students, and his willingness to give constructive criticism as reasons for his excellence in teaching. Professor Dinwoodie is equally appreciated for his commitment outside of the classroom. Students who visit him in his office attest to the fact that he truly enjoys the opportunity to answer questions and to supplement class material with his own life experiences. The energy that Professor Dinwoodie exudes in and outside of the classroom is truly a sign of excellence in teaching.

Professor John Murphy finishes his thirty-first year at the College this year, each of which has been marked by his many contributions. While it is universally accepted that Professor Murphy's classrooms are some of the most lively, fun, and exciting at the College, it is also a truism that they are one of the places where the most serious and intense learning takes place. Perhaps one of the most telling signs of Professor Murphy's excellence in teaching comes from our interaction with alumni of the College. In discussions with alumni, invariably Professor Murphy's name will come up as one of the people who has had a tremendous influence on that person's life — and the influence is always positive. Professor Murphy, through his excellent teaching and valuable service to the College of Law community, does far more than simply teach students to be good lawyers: he has taught them how to develop as professionals.

Professor Michael Van Alstine's receipt of the Goldman Prize for the second consecutive year evidences the College of Law's appreciation of his work and commitment. He exhibits enthusiasm for teaching and personal responsibility in educating the students. He has the unique ability to make complex legal issues understandable and facilitates learning through stimulating class discussions and being accessible for individual instruction. Exemplifying the College of Law's community spirit, Professor Van Alstine shows a sincere interest in the student's education and future profession. His practical experience enables him to supplement his academic instruction and work with realism, forever reminding the students of the distinction between "good lawyering and bad lawyering."

We congratulate Professors Graem Dinwoodie, John Murphy, and Michael Van Alstine and look forward to their continuing achievements.