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Polansky Wins Barbara Lazarus Award

Susan Polansky
Susan Polansky, teaching professor of Spanish, won the 2006 Barbara Lazarus Award for Culture and Climate. Lazarus, who died in 2003, was associate provost for academic affairs. The award, which is given every year by Carnegie Mellon President Jared L. Cohon as part of the university's Martin Luther King Day Jr. commemoration, is awarded to faculty and staff who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership and made a demonstrable impact on improving the culture and climate in the Carnegie Mellon community.

As associate head of the Department of Modern Languages, Polansky supervises academic advising for majors in the department and has been responsible for maintaining the quality of the department's undergraduate education programs. Polansky also oversees new faculty orientation, and she receives consistently high course evaluations. She was the 2004 recipient of the Elliott Dunlap Smith Award, which is given annually by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences to honor excellent undergraduate teaching.

In her nomination letter, colleagues and students described Polansky as a tireless mentor and teacher whose efforts have made Modern Languages one of the finest teaching units on campus. Colleagues also credit Polansky with helping to create a familial atmosphere in the department.

"We all know that Susan has established, and maintains, exceptionally strong standards in terms of ensuring that the culture and the climate of Modern Languages is warm, welcoming and supportive," said department head Dick Tucker.

Jonathan Potts
January 20, 2006

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