Distinguished Faculty Award for Teaching Presented to Robert J. Houle
MADISON, N.J. (Sept. 24, 2010) — Fairleigh Dickinson University honored Robert J. Houle, associate professor of history, with its Distinguished Faculty Award for Teaching at the University's annual Academic Convocation on Sept. 22.
"Your interactive, dynamic teaching approach awakens the joy of learning in your students, whether you are leading a classroom discussion by asking probing questions or serving up South African cuisine at your traditional end-of-semester dinner," said University Provost Joseph Kiernan in presenting the award.
Houle, who earned his B.A. in history at the University of Minnesota-Morris (1992), began his teaching career at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he earned master's (1998) and doctoral (2003) degrees in history. He won several travel grants and fellowships for dissertation research, including a 2000 Fulbright research grant to study in South Africa. Houle was also a visiting assistant professor at Tulane University in 2003-04.
Houle joined Fairleigh Dickinson in 2004, where he developed a new Introduction to History course, helped redesign the history major and added two courses that transcend national boundaries: Indian Ocean World History and Atlantic Ocean World History. Houle teaches a range of world history courses, from introductory to upper-division, on topics such as "Islam and Christianity in Africa," "Colonial Epidemics" and "Crime and Punishment in Southern Africa." He regularly leads his students on field trips to the U.N., Washington, D.C., Boston and Little Senegal in Harlem.
Houle's research interests center on the way Africans and other colonized peoples interact with their colonizers. He has presented his research at conferences and meetings nationwide and at the University of Natal in South Africa. His book, Making African Christianity: Africans Reimagining Their Faith in Colonial Southern Africa, will be published by Lehigh University Press later this academic year.
Houle is a resident of South Orange, N.J.
Pictured above are President J. Michael Adams and Robert J. Houle, associate professor of history.