Classics professor awarded teaching excellence honors in September ceremony

Published October 31, 2018
Dr. Vincent receives the award

Heather Vincent receives the award from Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty Suzan Harrison

Heather Vincent, associate professor of classics, was honored in September with the 2018 John M. Bevan Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership Award.

The award was established and endowed by Signe and Tom Oberhofer and named in honor of the College’s founding academic dean. It is given annually to individual faculty members “for nurturing a campus climate that fosters teaching at its best.” A committee of past winners selects the honoree.

Vincent was selected for her service on the Academic Honor Council as an inaugural member—and later, the chair; helping to define the honor-pledge process; spearheading the redesign of the College’s Honors Program; inviting faculty across disciplines to team-teach courses for a true liberal arts experience; teaching first-year and senior capstone courses in 11 of her 12 years on the faculty; serving as discipline coordinator for Classics and Ancient Studies; helping to launch the ancient studies major; serving as chair of the Faculty Coordinating Committee; providing guidance during the revision of Eckerd College’s tenure process; and serving on the Strategic Planning Steering Committee.

“She is really becoming an increasingly important leader in the faculty,” said Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty Suzan Harrison, who announced October 19 that Vincent will serve as the associate dean of general education next academic year. “Her leadership in redesigning the Honors program made it a much more central and important program for our top-performing students, to really challenge them and engage them with the College. Heather has such endless energy for trying to improve what we do in the academic program, and we are incredibly lucky to have her.”

Her fellow professors gathered for the surprise announcement of her Bevan Award during a reception in Fox Hall on Sept. 20. Vincent, who joined the Eckerd faculty in 2006, said she was honored to receive this recognition.

“Among such an innovative, committed and hard-working faculty, I am humbled to have been chosen for this award. I think of the work we do here at Eckerd College as an investment—a patient, long-term, collaborative and multifaceted strategy for crafting a better world,” she said.

In between teaching courses and serving on faculty leadership committees, Vincent focuses her research on humor and invective in Latin literature, specifically how writers deployed humor for political and rhetorical purposes. She received her Bachelor of Science from Vanderbilt University, her Master of Arts from the University of Maryland and her Doctorate of Philosophy from Brown University.

“My goal for the next year,” Vincent explained, “is the same as my goal every year: not to get lost in the minutia but to remember to ‘cherish the long view of the things that matter,’ as my mentor Susan Wiltshire used to say.