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CAS Professors Honored with American University Faculty Awards

Faculty win Scholar/Teacher of the Year, Outstanding Teaching, and Fostering Collaborative Scholarship Awards

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This year, four College of Arts faculty members have been honored as 2023 University Faculty Award recipients for their contributions to the AU community, to their disciplines, and to the lives of their students and colleagues. “They have demonstrated excellence in their teaching, scholarship, and service, as well as in their efforts to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion,” wrote AU Provost and Chief Academic Officer Peter Starr.

Scholar/Teacher of the Year Award
Jon D. Wisman, Economics

Jon Wisman

Jon D. Wisman, professor of economics, has twice been selected by American University as the Outstanding Teacher of the Year—the university’s highest honor. He has published articles and chapters in a wide variety of journals and books, and edited Worker Empowerment: The Struggle for Workplace Democracy. Much of his recently published work addresses topics in the history of economic thought, guaranteed employment, and the role of inequality in generating economic crises and environmental devastation.  

“Jon Wisman is the epitome of the scholar-teacher," says Kara Reynolds, professor of economics and department chair. “Each fall he comes back more enthusiastic than the year before, and he is consistently noting that we [faculty] have the best job in the world. He is able to impart to our students an insightful perspective on economic thought and the development of current and historical economic conditions in a way that inspires those students to engage in further inquiry.” 

During 2002, Wisman served as president of the Association for Social Economics. He recently published The Origins and Dynamics of Inequality: Sex, Politics, and Ideology (Oxford University Press). He was the winner, with co-author Quentin Duroy, of the 2020 Journal of Economic Issues Editor’s Prize (for best article in the journal for 2020): “The Proletarianization of the Professoriate and the Threat to Free Expression, Creativity and Economic Dynamism.” In 2023, he received the Veblen-Commons Award for outstanding contributions to evolutionary economics, the highest honor granted by the Association for Evolutionary Economics.  

“For 52 years, I’ve been privileged to be a part of American University’s intellectual mission to advance knowledge and transmit it to our students and peers," says Wisman. “Over these many years the members of this community have unfailingly treated me with generosity and respect. I cannot imagine a more nourishing and rewarding workplace. My career here at American University has been the best of good fortune.” 

Wisman’s blog posts can be found on the Huffington Post.

Outstanding Teaching in a Full-Time, Tenure-Line Appointment Award 
Nathaniel Herr, Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences

Nathaniel Herr

Nathaniel Herr is an associate professor of psychology who joined the department in 2012. He received his PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles, and received postdoctoral training and a faculty appointment at Duke University Medical Center.  

“I am incredibly honored to receive this award. The feeling was that of being a conduit through which the many great teachers I benefited from over the years (including my mom, the English teacher) can reach a new generation of learners,” Herr says.  

Herr’s research focuses on the etiology and effects of interpersonal dysfunction, emotion regulation difficulties, and identity disturbance particularly among adults or emerging adults with borderline personality disorder (BPD). He also trains students in dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and statistical methods in psychology.  

"Professor Herr is an outstanding all-around teacher. Inside the classroom, outside the classroom, undergraduate, advanced graduate -- he has excelled in all of these areas, and this has greatly benefited AU students,” says David Kearns, professor of psychology and department chair.

Outstanding Contribution to Fostering Collaborative Scholarship Award
Ignacio González and Juan Antonio Montecino, Economics

Professor Ignacio González

Assistant Professor of Economics Ignacio González joined the department in 2017. Before joining AU, he was a postdoctoral research scholar at Columbia University. His research focuses on the connections between financial markets and inequality. Courses taught by González include Intermediate Macroeconomics (Econ-301) and Macroeconomic Analysis (Econ-802). 

Professor Juan Antonio Montecino

Assistant Professor of Economics Juan Antonio Montecino focuses his research on the macroeconomic and development consequences of international financial liberalization, as well as issues related to finance and inequality. He obtained his PhD from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and has a MSc from the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics. Before joining American University, he was a postdoctoral researcher at Columbia University. He is also a member of the INET Taskforce on Macroeconomic Externalities. 

“Ignacio González and Juan Montecino have built the new Institute for Macroeconomic Policy Analysis from scratch, while simultaneously inspiring our academic partners, faculty, and graduate students, to expect more from our economic policy—economic policy can both stimulate the economy and address societal ills like inequality,” says Reynolds. “This award is highly deserved, and marks just the beginning of this initiative and the movement for better economic models. I’m looking forward to seeing what they can accomplish.” 

Montecino and González say, they are humbled by the award, “which recognizes our work towards the creation of the Institute for Macroeconomic and Policy Analysis, a new multi-disciplinary center housed at the Department of Economics. We look forward to collaborating with the AU community on how to design economic policies that combat inequality and meet society's needs."