Professor Patricia Lopez Awarded 2024 AAG Distinguished Teaching Honors

From the AAG:

"The 2024 AAG Distinguished Teaching Honors is awarded to Patricia Lopez for her teaching, mentoring and pedagogical accomplishments at Dartmouth College. As Chris Sneddon, former Chair of Geography at Dartmouth College states, "Dr. Lopez is the most extraordinary teacher and mentor in higher education I have yet to encounter." In her early career work at Dartmouth, she developed and taught eight courses, as well as engaged in high­ stress and deeply important work, such as teach-ins that responded to political crises that affected campuses and the US. Even in the most isolating times at the beginning of the COVID- 19 pandemic, Professor Lopez demonstrated pedagogy that taught students to value collaboration as central to knowledge production and to embrace multiple modes of learning across audio, visual and written media. Her courses span the breadth of student lea ming from leading introductory courses to teaching Global Poverty & Care, Geopolitics of Humanitarianism and co-teaching a class on #BlacklivesMatter. This is because her work centers on bringing care into labor, life, teaching, and mentoring.

In 2017, 2019, and 2021, Dartmouth College named Dr. Lopez as one of their "Top 20 Professors" in the yearbook The Aegis, a rare accomplishment for a junior faculty member. She has similarly been awarded Dartmouth's Class of 1962 Teaching Fellowship and a Classroom Enhancement Grant through the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center. Professor Lopez inspires and collaborates with undergraduate students to build from introductory courses towards self­ directed research projects, including the intensive mentoring process that is required for applications for intramural Dartmouth funding, the Mellon Mays program, and the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. Lizet Garcfa, who identifies as a first­ generation low-income student, shared that Dr. Lopez both "often challenges me" and "her support and belief help me power through it all" – including the undergraduate thesis at Dartmouth College, a successful NSF GRF application, and admission to all PhD programs applied to. Beyond the work of developing stellar courses and community-based experiences, Professor Lopez has encouraged her students to understand themselves as teacher-scholars and to act accordingly in terms of developing theory and engaging in accountable geographies.

Dr. Lopez's engaged and rigorous mentorship has borne fruit throughout the discipline of geography, and beyond. She has served as a mentor for four Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship recipients who are underrepresented in geography; three have gone on to PhD programs and a fourth was a finalist for the Rhodes scholarship. Less than ten years after filing her PhD, Lopez is clearly shaping the future of geography as a discipline. Graduate Mariana Penaloza Morales describes her as a "North Star" in guiding their path towards excellence in research, teaching, and service."

Read the full article and other awards here