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School of Public and Environmental Affairs honors outstanding faculty

April 25, 2013
Bloomington, Indiana --

They teach subjects ranging from economic development to legal affairs to human resources, but four SPEA faculty members now have in common that they’re recipients of Trustees’ Teaching Awards.

They are:

  • Barry Rubin, professor and chair of the Policy Analysis and Public Finance Faculty Group
  • Beth Cate, associate professor
  • Justin Ross, assistant professor
  • Cheryl Hughes, lecturer

The four received the prestigious honor at ceremonies this week on the campus of Indiana University Bloomington. “We’re thrilled to have this chance to celebrate the achievements of Barry, Beth, Justin and Cheryl,” said SPEA Executive Associate Dean David Reingold.

Rubin has taught at SPEA since 1979 and served in a variety of administrative and academic positions. He’s been a willing and valuable mentor, especially to graduate students. He teaches a capstone course that for the past two semesters has taken an intensive look at the economic impact of two Indiana military bases. The project has garnered frequent media coverage and established a productive partnership between SPEA and the leaders of the two facilities.

In heartfelt remarks after receiving the Trustee Teaching Award, Rubin said, “I love this school and all it represents. I’m incredibly grateful for your support and friendship over the years.”

While Rubin is a SPEA veteran, Cate is a relative newcomer. The Harvard-educated lawyer has been an associate professor at SPEA for two years after serving for 14 years as associate general counsel for Indiana University. “She has made such an impact in a short time and has become one of the School’s best teachers,” Reingold said. “She gives generously of her time to her students and they tell me she genuinely cares about their academic progress and their lives.”

Ross joined the faculty in 2008 and has quickly emerged as a leading expert in his field of state and local public finance and tax policy. “Justin is one of our top instructors of economics,” Reingold said. “He has the ability to make a challenging subject understandable and the students especially appreciate his enthusiasm and energy in the classroom.”

Hughes has been teaching at SPEA since 2009. Students who have taken her courses in human resources and employee relations describe her in glowing terms: “She is a great instructor.” “She’s always available to us, always ready to help or answer a question.” Reingold noted that he often walks by her office and sees three or four students clustered around her desk.

“As with so many of our faculty, this year’s Trustee Teaching Award recipients are knowledgeable and approachable and place an enormous emphasis on serving students,” Reingold said.

A special committee of SPEA faculty members selected the recipients and also named other honorees. Andrea Need, Jonathan Raff, Matthew Baggetta, John Karaagac, Dan Preston, Mark Bennett and Shokhrukh Kurbanov were selected to receive SPEA Teaching Awards.

About the Trustees Teaching Awards

These awards were established to recognize and enhance excellent teaching at Indiana University, especially at the undergraduate level. Tenured or tenure-track faculty, full-time lecturers or clinical faculty whose primary duty is teaching and who have demonstrated that they are the best teachers, are eligible for this $2,500 award. The IUB Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs is responsible for establishing and supervising the procedures for determining the award recipients. Selections are made by faculty committee.