Excellence in Teaching Award
NOTRE DAME, IN (March 22, 2012) - When Dr. Jeff Langan began teaching at Holy Cross College in 2008, he was already a well-known lecturer in the Philosophy and Political Science departments at the University of Notre Dame. Dr. Langan's enthusiasm for philosophy and engaging teaching style would even from time to time lead to more than half of his Intro to Philosophy class declaring themselves philosophy majors by the end of the semester. Dr. Langan's passionate, thoughtful, intriguing dialogue with pupils did not stop at the classroom door, however; eventually large groups of students were meeting, along with Dr. Langan, at Fiddler's Hearth, (downtown South Bend) on a weekly basis to engage in extended philosophical and theological discussions - a tradition that continues today.
Having obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame in 2001, Dr. Langan began his career at Holy Cross College teaching philosophy and theology courses. In 2009 Langan was appointed chairman of the Liberal Studies department. Now, three years later, Dr. Langan has been selected to receive Holy Cross College's Excellence in Teaching Award.
The award, which is presented every other year during the college's annual Honors Convocation, is a modest attempt to acknowledge the faculty member who exemplifies teaching in the best tradition of the Brothers and Congregation of Holy Cross. Nominations of Dr. Langan stated that "his lessons truly cultivate the heart as well as the mind," and that "he has given his students the competence to see the world in its beauty and complexities..." Dr. Langan was further praised for his ability to "teach students to think and write at a new level," for his "great deal of attention to students in and out of the classroom", and for all he has done to "make people aware of the mission of the Brothers of Holy Cross."
During his time as a faculty member at Holy Cross, Dr. Langan has had the opportunity to travel with the college's students to Montreal and Quebec City, Canada, and to Le Mans, Lourdes, and Paris, France.
He has also helped organize and attend conferences related to politics, economics and culture, including the Trialogos Project in Tallinn Estonia and St. Petersburg Russia, The World Public Forum in Prague and Rhodes, Greece, Reflections on John Paul II's Faith and Reason in Rome, Italy, The Roots of Culture Conference in Rees, Germany, and The End of Virtue in Palermo, Sicily.
Dr. Langan has had the opportunity to engage in several extended research trips in Paris, Marseilles, and Rennes, France. His research has resulted in two upcoming books, The Influence of the French Revolution on the Lives and Thought of John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Edmund Burke, Mary Wollstonecraft, Immanuel Kant, and Pius VI: The End of Conservatism, and a translation of the speeches and writings of Pius VI with respect to the French Revolution, The French Revolution Confronts Pius VI.
In addition to teaching during the school year, Dr. Langan has spent many summers and breaks helping to direct service projects in the United States and foreign countries. He has worked at the Midtown Achievement Program in Chicago and the Crotona Program in the Bronx, New York. Both programs provide training in virtue for inner city junior high school boys. He has also led service projects in Ecuador, Mexico, Guatemala, Spain, and Lithuania. These projects involved both teaching English and building homes for homeless families.
During the past fourteen academic years, Dr. Langan has also lived at and helped organize activities at Windmoor Study Center, a residence in South Bend dedicated to helping the professional and character development of college men. Through these activities and personal guidance, he has encouraged young men to see their studies, work and family responsibilities from the perspective of growth in virtue and a spirit of service to God and all men and women.
Part of the fruit of Dr. Langan's teaching and service experiences has been a book that he has written specifically for college students, From Animal House to the Academy: How to Thrive in College.
Dr. Langan greatly enjoys cross-country skiing, discussions at Fiddler's Hearth, French movies, and learning new languages. His next two will be Russian and Italian. He will be happy to speak Italian with anyone who comes and visits him in his new quarters in Rome this Fall.