1990 Pinanski Prize citation

Presentation of Awards

Stephen Marini

Stephen Marini, Professor of Religion, is a teacher of such amazing vitality that his students say he doesn’t just lecture:  he breaks into his lecture dance that resembles a jig.  They say the room comes alive, vibrates with student ideas,  thoughts, and their loud opinions.  One student says she does not even know where the clock is in his classroom.  Steve believes that knowledge is a communal experience, to be shared and explored together.  In his ethics classes, students tackle tough, real life issues and develop the tools necessary to make sound ethical judgments.  As one student says, “In Steve Marini’s classes, there are no easy answers; but never are there any in real life either.”

Michele Respaut

Michele Respaut, Associate Professor of French, is known to her students as charismatic, a professor to respect, a woman to admire.  Wellesley woman who study with her embark on a search for knowledge and a search for personal enrichment and discovery.  They say that she nourishes their intellect and soul, imbuing her courses with love, excitement and wisdom.  Students are encouraged to offer reading suggestions for her course curriculum, to shape the course and the discussion.  One of her students who aspires to be a teacher has said, “I only hope that when I teach I will spark the mind of a future student the way Michele Respaut and her courses have fired mine - to pique her passion about life and literature, incite her intellect and her writing to dance with inspiration and insight- to give her the gift that Michele Respaut has given me."

Glenn Stark

Glenn Stark, Assistant Professor of Physics, is a master of the “Aha!” phenomenon, in which light breaks through and everything falls into place in learning a physical concept.  Students say his lectures are always structured, clear, and thorough.  He breaks concepts down into pieces that are comprehensible; he encourages individual research.  He is described as designing challenging coursework, yet combining it with a constant support and belief in the abilities of his students.  One student has said, “Glenn Stark’s classes are the hardest that I have taken at Wellesley or MIT, and they are also the ones that I am proudest of having taken.”