Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

Roxanne Dávila awarded Weiss Presidential Award

June 2nd, 2021

Written by Kyle Young

The Stone Center is proud to announce that another one of our affiliated faculty members has been awarded the Suzanne and Stephen Weiss Presidential Fellows Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. Roxanne Dávila is the director of the Basic Language Program in Spanish with the department of Spanish and Portuguese. She is being recognized for her outstanding pedagogical expertise and seamless transition into the virtual learning environment that characterized a pandemic-ridden year in higher education.

Professor Dávila has taught a variety of Spanish language courses, several of which focus on Latin American literature, including Spanish American Literature and the Latin American Avant-garde. Students and supporters have praised Dávila for her compassionate attitude towards her students, her graceful transition into virtual education, and her prioritization of culture and society as central features to language learning.

Via Alicia Serrano with Tulane News

The Suzanne and Stephen Weiss Presidential Fellows Awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching are awarded to two full-time faculty members for extraordinary achievements in undergraduate teaching, student advising, and instructional improvement and development as well as success in making distinctive contributions to teaching and influencing students beyond their formal role of teaching. The President’s Award for Excellence in Graduate and Professional Teaching is given to two full-time faculty members who have a record of excellence in their teaching and learning and an ongoing commitment to educational brilliance.

Roxanne Dávila, senior professor of practice in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the School of Liberal Arts, aims to bring curricular innovation to the Spanish Language Program, of which she is also the director. The Teaching Awards review committee noted that Dávila transitioned all of the Spanish language courses online in a short time and ensured that students thrived in the new learning environment. One student wrote, “She made class enlightening and enjoyable no matter the circumstances. Also, she showed true compassion for her students and made sure we knew she was there for us no matter the situation.” Another supporting letter read, “She is devoted to giving every Spanish student a compelling experience that will help them appreciate the importance of language to culture and society.”