School of Arts and Sciences

Brandeis Prize for Excellence in Teaching

The Louis Dembitz Brandeis Prize for Excellence in Teaching honors an individual for their outstanding teaching. 

The $2,500 award is presented annually at the April faculty meeting.

Faculty, staff, students and alumni are invited to submit nominations. The recipient is selected by the Dean of Arts and Sciences upon the recommendation of a committee consisting of three faculty, including previous Teaching Prize recipients, in consultation with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Decisions are based on nomination letters, teaching evaluations, Faculty Activity Reports and CVs. Nominations are due by March 1 of each year.

2023 Recipient
Kene Piasta

Kene Piasta
Assistant Professor of Biology

Nominator Comments

  • "What makes him a great professor is the quality of his character. The best teachers, in my experience, are those who care for their students first. Professor Piasta is exactly that. Professor Piasta is worthy and deserving of any of the teaching awards-- as he is an exemplary person and an excellent professor. "
  • "Kene is fabulous, innovative classroom professor who has demonstrated a commitment to inclusive teaching and mentoring practices. Our division of science simply would not be the same without him."
  • "He has not only helped me to fall in love with biology even further, but has offered me guidance towards my future. This is what sets him apart from other professors; even though he teaches large classes and has a busy schedule, he is willing to take the time to sit down and discuss a student’s future endeavors. As he said to me, that is his favorite part of the job."

Past Recipients

Year Recipient Department(s)
2022 Keith Plaster Linguistics and Computational Linguistics
2021 Lucía Reyes de Deu Hispanic Studies
2020 Antonella Di Lillo Computer Science
2019 Keith Merrill Mathematics
2018 Kristen Mascall Chemistry
2017 Daniel Breen Legal Studies
2016 Claudia Novack Chemistry
2015 Jennifer Cleary Theater Arts
2014 Laura Goldin Environmental Studies
2013 James Morris Biology
2012 Irina Dubinina German, Russian and Asisan Languages and Literature
2011 Eileen McNamara Journalism
2010 Melissa Kosinski-Collins Biology
2009 Bruce Foxman Chemistry
2008 Marya Levenson Education
2007 Lizbeth Hedstrom Biochemistry and Chemistry
2006 Dan L. Perlman Biology, Environmental Studies
2005 William Kapelle History
2004 Olga Broumas Creative Writing
2003 H. Michael Coiner Economics
2002 Robert C. Hunt Anthropology
2001 Mary Davis American Studies
2000 Susan Parker Mathematics
1999 Gordon Fellman Sociology
1998 No prize awarded
1997 Paola Servino Romance and Comparative Literature (Italian)
1996 Raymond Knight Psychology
1996 Chandler Fulton Biology
1995 John Bush Jones Theater Arts
1994 John Burt English and American Literature
1993 Stephen Whitfield American Studies
1992 Cheryl Walker Classical Studies
1991 Peter Heller Physics
1990 David Hackett Fischer History
1989 Ann Koloski-Ostrow Classical Studies
1988 Barney Schwalberg Economics
1987 Emily Dudek Chemistry
1986 John Smith English and American Literature