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Award of Berninghausen Prize for Outstanding Teaching

This is the 22nd year of the Berninghausen Prize for outstanding teaching at the University of Bremen. The prize is awarded to teaching staff of the University who distinguish themselves through their creativity and outstanding didactical capabilities. The prize is named after its donator, Friedo Berninghausen. Altogether worth a total of 6,000 euros, the prize is awarded by the “unifreunde” (Society of friends of the University of Bremen and Jacobs University Bremen) following recommendations made by the University.

The prizewinners in 2014

Dr. Jan Ulrich Büttner from the Faculty of Social Sciences was awarded the prize for an exceptional Master’s seminar bearing the title “History of Cultures”. Together with his students he analyzed a hitherto unresearched source stemming from the 16th century: the church records of the village of Schrebitz in Saxony. In the course of analysis his students were taken through all the phases of a research process. In so doing, he introduced modern technical aids and brought in partners from outside the University. As the jury pointed out: “Along with his students, Büttner had to face up to the possibility of failure that overshadows every research process.”

The prize for an outstanding work experience went to Dr. Andra Thiel-Hoffmeister and her team from the Faculty of Biology/Chemistry. During the work experience with the title “The Structure and Function of Invertebrates” she and her team supervised 120 to 130 students with varying levels of knowledge. Andra Thiel-Hoffmeister is an avid proponent of research-based learning as opposed to text-book learning. The jury was particularly impressed by the practice of compiling a learning diary to accompany the research process. This inevitably brings students to reflect on what and how they are learning. Despite the large number of participants, Andra Thiel-Hoffmeister managed to personally accompany this process, too.

The students' recommendation prize was awarded to Dr. Oliver Hinkelbein from the Faculty of Cultural Studies. His students particularly appreciated how his economic expertise contributes to making aspects of cultural studies eve more interesting. In their grounds for awarding him the prize the jury stated “He has the knack of infusing his students with enthusiasm”. He is credited with having the ability to deliver subject matter in a way that is especially graphic and practice-relevant.

Group picture with two men and one woman.
Berninghausen awardees 2014: (from right) Dr. Oliver Hinkelbein (Faculty Cultural Studies), Dr. Andra Thiel-Hoffmeister (degree program Biology) and Dr. Jan Ulrich Büttner (degree program History)