Announcing the President’s Awards for Distinguished Scholar-Teachers

To the Members of the Georgetown University Community

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen:

Last spring, I invited all members of the community to nominate members of our faculty for the President’s Awards for Distinguished Scholar-Teachers. This award celebrates the dual mission that is at the heart of what we do here at Georgetown: dedication to ambitious research and excellence in student engagement. It is with great pleasure that I announce this year’s recipients:

James Collins, Ph.D.
Department of History
Georgetown College

Philip Schrag, J.D.
Delaney Family Professor of Public Interest Law
and the Director of the Center for Applied Legal Studies
Georgetown University Law Center

Karen Gale, Ph.D. (Posthumous)
Professor of Pharmacology
Department of Pharmacology & Physiology
Georgetown University Medical Center

Universities thrive at the intersection of teaching and research, and we believe that these three individuals exemplify the very best of that juncture. Each of these recipients has contributed to Georgetown and to his or her field in extraordinary ways, and I am so pleased to honor their work and commitment to our academic mission with this award.

Throughout his 29 years at Georgetown, Jim Collins, Ph.D., has brought a great passion to teaching both our undergraduate and graduate students while producing significant scholarly publications centered in French history. He truly lives at the intersection of our mission as a student-centered, research university; Professor Collins offers a model of how rigorous scholarship informs teaching, and how meaningful mentor relationships inspire scholarly ventures.

From our Law Center, we honor Philip Schrag, J.D., the Delaney Family Professor of Public Interest Law and Founding Director of the Center for Applied Legal Studies. Professor Schrag has been a leading innovator in legal education and research throughout his career, infusing the Law curriculum with high-impact, immersive experiences that transform our students’ legal education and, oftentimes, define their career paths. Our clinical program is one of the best in the country, distinguishing Georgetown Law Center from its peer institutions and helping attract the very best students.

We honor Karen Gale, Ph.D., posthumously following her passing last month. A Professor of Pharmacology at the Medical Center, Professor Gale served our community with great dedication for more than 35 years. She left an indelible mark on Georgetown as an excellent scholar, teacher and colleague. Her neuroscience research led to pivotal breakthroughs in the field, laying the groundwork for a new understanding of the origin and effect of seizures on the brain. As founding director of the Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience at our Medical Center, Professor Gale launched what is now the 14th highest ranked program in the United States. Over the years, her impactful teaching and mentorship shaped thousands of students, inspired our colleagues and contributed in invaluable ways to our Georgetown community.

Professor Gale learned that she was selected for this award before her passing and was able to share the news with her family and her colleagues. At her family’s request, the funds from her award will be used to establish a lectureship dedicated to Outstanding Women in Neuroscience. You can read more about “The Karen Gale Memorial Lecture for Women in Neuroscience” here.

This year’s pool of nominations was extraordinary, representing the great diversity of talent across our University. Our awardees emerged following a rigorous selection process in which a committee of fellow distinguished faculty members identified a small group of finalists. In light of the extraordinarily rich and talented pool of deserving candidates, I decided to honor three of our colleagues this year. I wish to thank all of you who submitted nominations in the spring.

I hope that you will all join me in congratulating the awardees and celebrating the many ways that they have enriched our community.

You have my very best wishes.


John J. DeGioia