Vincent Hutchings won the department's highest teaching honor, the 2020 Tronstein Award. The Tronstein Award is given in recognition of innovative and outstanding teaching of undergraduate students in the University of Michigan Department of Political Science.
Here are the wonderful things Director of Undergraduate Studies Brian Min said when he presented the award to Vince:
"I’m very thankful for the hard work of the Undergraduate Affairs Committee: Yuen, Yuri, and Yuki.
Politics are, by their very nature, contentious. As a result, many of us teach on topics that are difficult, and sometimes even divisive. This year, we recognize a faculty member who teaches challenging classes in the arena of race and politics.
Students call him a 'phenomenal professor' who 'has fundamentally changed the way [we] look at the world' and 'opened our eyes about racial issues and attitudes.' They say his classes provide 'a unique experience to have a frank discussion about race in the US,' and that he creates space for difficult conversations that are 'strong, meaningful' and 'real, honest.' Scattered throughout his teaching evaluations are phrases like 'By far the best professor this university and probably any university has to offer,' and 'He is brilliant beyond belief.'
Over the years, countless students have left Michigan with a broadened perspective and a more sophisticated worldview because of his classes. Our students leave more thoughtful and better equipped to wrestle with the multifaceted issues of race over the rest of their lives. Our curriculum is so much stronger because of him.
For his outstanding teaching and commitment to our undergraduate students, we are thrilled to name Vince Hutchings as the winner of this year’s Tronstein Award. Congratulations, Vince!"