Three Georgetown University professors were named as the 2023 recipients of the President’s Awards for Distinguished Scholar-Teachers on March 8.
English professor Jennifer Natalya Fink, government professor Marc Howard and classics professor Josiah Osgood were this year’s honorees. The university will host March 21 an awards ceremony honoring the three new distinguished scholar-teachers in Gaston Hall, and as part of their distinction, Fink, Howard and Osgood will each receive an annual grant of $10,000 for three years to support their research and instruction.
Fink said she was incredibly enthusiastic about receiving the award and looks forward to dedicating the funding to her upcoming projects.
“I was shocked, elated, and humbled to receive this fantastic acknowledgement of my work — and grateful to receive the material support for my future scholarship,” Fink wrote to The Hoya. “To have my radically queer, crip, experimental, interdisciplinary work formally recognized by this institution means the world to me.”
Fink specializes in feminist, queer and crip studies, which examines the intersection of disability studies with queer studies, within the department of English. She has led the English honors program, designed new interdisciplinary courses and launched the master’s and doctoral certificate in disability studies.
Fink’s impact on students has been a great source of encouragement to her throughout her career.
“What is most rewarding is seeing my students themselves become artists, thinkers, world-changers and status-quo-shakers,” Fink wrote. “I love hearing from former students, sometimes decades after they took a class with me.”
Howard directs the Georgetown University Prisons and Justice Initiative, an initiative that provides educational resources for incarcerated students and returning citizens, and co-founded the Georgetown Pivot Program, a custom business certificate program for formerly incarcerated individuals.
Howard is also known among students for teaching his popular “Making an Exoneree” class in which undergraduate students reinvestigate likely wrongful conviction cases and build legal defenses for exoneration. Howard also established Georgetown’s college-credit program at the D.C. Jail and has published several books on the U.S. penitentiary system.
Howard said he is extremely proud of both his undergraduate and formerly incarcerated students’ real-world accomplishments.
“This award to me is really a reflection of my incredible students, both at Georgetown and the sites of our two prison education programs — the D.C. Jail and the Patuxent Institution. Incarcerated students have proven to the wider community and to themselves that they can hold their own in a Georgetown classroom and have so much to teach and share with their classmates and professors,” Howard wrote to The Hoya.
“And undergraduate students have shown how they can change the lives of wrongfully convicted people while growing into leadership roles within the larger criminal legal reform movement,” Howard added.
Osgood recently concluded six years of service as the chair of the department of classics. His scholarship focuses on a wide range of Roman history subtopics, from the lived experience of a woman during the Roman civil war to political rivalries of antiquity.
Osgood said he appreciated the award, especially because it highlights the sometimes overlooked intersection between research and instruction for professors.
“I am currently researching the criminal courts of the late Roman Republic through the casebook of Cicero, Rome’s greatest lawyer. This grew out of a class I have taught and will teach again. My students help me to think harder about the Roman system of justice and what it reveals about our own,” Osgood wrote to The Hoya.
Alison Mackey, the chair of the department of linguistics and a 2019 recipient of the award, led the faculty nomination review committee.
“I think we all agreed that we lucked out in committee work — what could be a more rewarding task than reading about the multiple outstanding achievements of Georgetown faculty members in research and teaching, in the words of their own colleagues and students? Learning about the multiple kinds of excellence that exist on our campus is truly humbling,” Mackey wrote to The Hoya.
Mackey said she encourages this year’s honorees to celebrate their achievement and continue strengthening their research and instructional endeavors at Georgetown.
“I hope this year’s awardees will take away the knowledge of their colleagues’ and students’ admiration, and the committee’s respect and our gratitude, along with that of the President, for their work at Georgetown,” Mackey wrote.