Department of History

Van Beck Hall Graduate Teaching Award

Aura S. Jirau has been honored with the Van Beck Hall Graduate Teaching Award for 2021. The award recognizes teaching excellence among our graduate students, and is named in honor of Dr Van Beck Hall, who retired in 2015 after 52 years as a beloved and master teacher at University of Pittsburgh.  Aura has taught a variety of different courses in keeping with the department's shifting needs, and in each designed a compelling pedagogy with clear objectives and engaging assignments.  Her students consistently speak to her intellect, interesting and well-prepared lectures, instructive feedback, and enthusiasm.  Aura's students note that during an extremely challenging year of remote instruction, she was able to build community and give her students the opportunity to interact and make connections in a way that supported their intellectual and personal growth. We are grateful that Dr. Hall's legacy of educational excellence is celebrated this year by acknowledging Aura for the valuable work she has done to bring her knowledge to our students, and her deep well of talents to our teaching community.