Distinguished Teacher Award (DTA) Committee

The Distinguished Teacher Award (DTA) recognizes exceptional dedication to the Institute’s mission and applauds the accomplishments made over the course of a career. The DTA Committee reviews nominations made by the student body and recommends candidate(s) to the Senate, which confers the award jointly with the administration and Board of Trustees. The recipient usually addresses the student body at Honors Convocation, presents the mace at graduation ceremonies, and speaks at commencement.


The Distinguished Teacher Award Committee consists of 7–11 voting members: the chair of the committee, who is elected by the Senate from among constituents; at least four Senate constituents each drawn from different schools, as well as the Library and, jointly, those departments not associated with a school; and one undergraduate and one graduate student selected by student government.

  • Maggie Portis, Chair (Full-Time Faculty, Library)
  • Jane Archer (Part-Time Faculty, Associate Degree Programs, School of Art)
  • Nick Gamso (Part-Time Faculty, Social Science & Cultural Studies, School of Liberal Arts & Sciences)
  • Ostap Rudakevych (Part-Time Faculty, Undergraduate Architecture, School of Architecture)
  • Dean Sidaway (Full-Time Faculty, Fashion Design, School of Design)
  • Elena Villaespesa (Full-Time Faculty, School of Information)
  • Taylor Terranova, undergraduate student
  • Katherine Hicks, graduate student

Senate officers are non-voting ex-officio members of every Senate committee unless otherwise elected, appointed, or specified.


The Distinguished Teacher Award Committee

  • coordinates nominations by the student body and competition for the annual medal design,
  • determines eligibility and criteria of excellence in teaching to guide review of candidates, and
  • recommends the Distinguished Teacher Award candidate(s) to the Senate no later than the March meeting of the Senate each year.

The DTA Committee Chair, as well as part-time faculty serving on the committee, receive compensation according to the Senate Compensation Policy and Standing Rules.

Nominations & Elections

The DTA committee chair and members are nominated from and by constituents and elected by the Senate each year. See Nominations for details on deadlines and procedures.