An Education They Won’t Forget

August 17, 2015

Edward J. Balleisen, Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies, is the newest recipient of the Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award. He has taught about 1,000 Duke undergraduates and mentored three-dozen doctoral students. He writes that pushing students to intellectually test themselves has lasting payoffs.

“One central impulse of mine is to challenge the extraordinarily talented students at Duke, to ask them to find intellectual gears they have not yet fully tested. The undergraduates who take my courses ‘American Business History’ or ‘The Modern Regulatory State’ have to grapple with the complexities of modern capitalism. Through a series of case studies, these students explore contentious issues about the role of law, institutions, and policy in shaping markets. As we move through the semester, a key goal is to connect these historical snapshots to broader social, economic, and political transformations. Students confront the messiness of historical evidence, whether contained in online databases or musty archival boxes; in memoirs, editorial cartoons, or legal cases; through economic statistics, official government inquiries, or corporate annual reports.”

Read his article in Duke Magazine, and learn more about the Bass Connections project team he led.