Pair of Romance Languages Faculty Honored with Joyce Awards

Author: Aaron Smith

Karen Richman and Sandra Teixeira, faculty members in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, have received the Rev. Edmund P. Joyce, C.S.C., Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.

Established in 2007, the Joyce Award honors faculty members “who have had a profound influence on undergraduate students through sustained exemplary teaching at Notre Dame.

Karen RichmanKaren Richman

Richman, a concurrent faculty member in Romance languages and the Department of Anthropology, teaches Creole from beginning to advanced levels, and created an award-winning Creole course for students with research interests in Haiti or the Haitian diaspora. She is director of undergraduate studies for the Institute for Latino Studies and a faculty fellow at the Kellogg Institute for International Studies.

“Karen has made many valuable contributions to the department,” said Thomas Anderson, department chair and professor of Spanish. “Her important courses have served Notre Dame students—and some faculty and staff members—who are interested in critical issues related to Haiti, which range from history to education to engineering to public health. 

“As my esteemed colleague Julia Douthwaite, a professor of French, put it, ‘Creole is vibrant and alive at ND, and Karen Richman is the one who makes it happen.’” 

Sandra TeixeiraSandra Teixeira

Teixeira, an associate professional specialist, teaches Portuguese and serves as the faculty adviser for both the Brazil Club and the Portuguese Language Club. She has written a handbook in beginning Portuguese with the support of Title VI and the Kellogg Institute.

“Sandra Teixeira has been a key figure in the building and development of our Portuguese program, which has gone from offering low-enrolled introductory language courses in 2000 to a budding minor with a variety of classes,” Anderson said. “Much of the program’s success is due to Sandra’s tireless efforts both inside and outside the classroom.

“Indeed, in addition to being an outstanding teacher with enviable student evaluations, Sandra is also seen by her students and her colleagues as a very valuable mentor and adviser. She organizes and is actively involved in student clubs and many activities related to the study of Portuguese language and culture, and she serves as the sole adviser for many of the students who apply for grants, fellowships, internships, graduate study, and summer language courses that involve the Portuguese language.”

Joyce Award winners receive a cash prize and are asked to share their insights and pedagogy with other Notre Dame faculty throughout the academic year.