Named after the late Friedo Berninghausen, the Berninghausen Prize has now been awarded over no less than 24 years. The coveted prize is awarded to members of the teaching faculty for creativity and outstanding commitment to their teaching activities. Altogether endowed with 6,000 euros, the prize is awarded by the “unifreunden” (Society of friends of the University of Bremen and Jacobs University Bremen) on recommendation of the students and faculty.
In her address, Professor Eva Quante Brandt, Senator for Science, Health, and Consumer Protection, pointed out that the University of Bremen was the very first in Germany to establish a prize for outstanding teaching. The University’s Vice President for Studies and Education, Professor Thomas Hoffmeister, thanked the Berninghausen family and the unifreunden for funding the prize and, hence, their appreciation of the quality of teaching at the University of Bremen.
The 2016 prize winners
Seminar and day of study on the Haitian novel
Dr. JuliaBorst and Dr. Natascha Ueckmann, both members of Faculty 10, Languages and Literary Studies, were awarded the prize in the category “Outstanding course design in respect of research-based learning: in undergraduate studies” for their course “Le roman haitien du XXte et CCle siècle”. They were chosen especially for the innovative course design, which comprised a seminar and a day of study. Student Michelle Mönck related: “Everyone was free to choose their own contribution. We were able to develop our own research question and work independently in the research groups”. The jury commended the two Romance philologists for successfully creating a vibrant and productive working atmosphere with their students.
Current health issues
The prize in the category “Outstanding course design in respect of research-based learning: in Master’s studies” went to professors Ansgar Gerhardus and Heinz Rothgang for their course titled “Topic Selection Research Project”, which built the foundations for a subsequent three-semester research project. Their course was especially outstanding because students were able to develop their own themes and consult with practicing experts in hospitals or health insurance companies. The jury was particularly impressed by the depth of reality students were able to achieve with their future career fields in such an early stage of studies.
Motivating with humor and enthusiasm
Prize winner Michael Claridge received the most nominations from students. They especially liked the way in which he managed to inject enthusiasm in his course participants. The integrative “English Theatre Workshop” reached beyond the boundaries of disciplines and motivated student to “learning by doing”. The workshop’s main themes are the times and works of William Shakespeare, and participants were able to take part in excursions to some of Shakespeare’s original sites in England. The students were especially taken by the exceptionally good working atmosphere Claridge created and the course leader’s unfailing humor.