"Phenomenal," "fantastically organized," "always positive," "inspirational," and "the epitome of an amazing professor" are just some of the comments made by students about Associate Professor Monica Higgins.
At the HGSE Convocation on Wednesday, June 3, Higgins was honored with the Morningstar Family Teaching Award, presented annually to a faculty member for his or her generosity in providing time and support to students. "Receiving the Morningstar Award is truly an honor for me. I was told as I joined the faculty at HGSE that I would love the students here and indeed I do. They are thoughtful, engaging, and highly-motivated, and for me, this award is as much about teaching as it is about learning. It's a two-way street," Higgins said. "I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to teach and learn with this class and to be recognized along with so many great teachers here at the school before me."
The award includes a $5,000 prize and recognition on a plaque in the Gutman Library lobby. Higgins was nominated along with 47 other faculty members, with 132 students making nominations.
The Morningstar Award recipient was chosen using a three stage process. During the first two weeks of May, HGSE master's and doctoral students submitted nominations for faculty members via an online poll. After reviewing all nominated faculty members, a student advisory committee for master's and doctoral students provided additional feedback on the nominees. Based on student testimonials and input from the student advisory committees, representatives from the Dean's Office then selected the honoree.
Higgins joined the Harvard faculty in 1995. Her research focuses on leadership development and organizational change, particularly in higher education and urban public schools. She has taught leadership programs for the Broad Foundation and for New Leaders for New Schools. Prior to joining HGSE, she spent 11 years as a member of the faculty at Harvard Business School in the Organizational Behavior Unit. Her recent book, Career Imprints: Creating Leaders Across an Industry, focuses on the leadership development of executives in the biotechnology industry
Past recipients of the Morningstar Award include Lecturer Terry Tivnan (2000), Senior Lecturer Kay Merseth (2001), Associate Professor Wendy Luttrell (2002), Professor Bridget Terry Long (2003), Professor Catherine Snow (2004), former professor Eleanor Drago-Severson (2005), Professor John Willett (2006), Professor Richard Murnane (2007), and Lecturer Barbara Alexander Pan (2008).