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The Joseph R. Accinno Teaching Award

The Joseph R. Accinno Faculty Teaching Award is presented annually to the faculty member who best exhibits excellence in teaching, passion and enthusiasm for learning, and genuine concern for students’ academic and personal growth. Faculty who have received tenure and are scheduled to teach during the spring semester are eligible for the award. The award program is administered by the Center for Teaching Excellence and the Teaching Award Selection Committee (TASC). The recipient receives a cash stipend, is formally acknowledged at the College’s Academic Convocation in September, and has his or her name inscribed on a plaque that is permanently displayed in Phillips Memorial Library.
Teaching Award Process and Criteria

Teaching Award Recipient, 2021-22

Dr. Edmund Dain
Philosophy

Dr. Edmund Dain, professor of philosophy, has been named the 2021-22 Joseph R. Accinno Faculty Teaching Award recipient. The honor is presented annually to the Providence College faculty member “who best exhibits excellence in teaching, passion and enthusiasm for learning, and genuine concern for students’ academic and personal growth.”

Picture of Dr. Edmund Dain

Dr. Dain joined the PC faculty in 2011 following his time as a Harper-Schmidt Fellow in the Humanities at the University of Chicago. He has more than 20 years of experience teaching in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Norway, and has taught in more than a dozen areas of philosophy. At PC, Dr. Dain regularly teaches courses in “Philosophy of Mind” and other areas of contemporary philosophy, introductory courses in philosophy and ethics, and both the first and third semesters of the Development of Western Civilization (DWC) Program – focusing on the ancient and modern world, respectively.

A student who nominated Dr. Dain for the award called his DWC lectures and seminars “fascinating” and the reason why they were taking a third course – Introduction to Philosophy – taught by him in the fall.

“He is extremely open, and he doesn’t urge students to conform to one narrow lane of thought.” the student wrote. “He often presents an overarching argument that a text expresses, talks about the common interpretations of the argument, and then challenges the common interpretation. He then gets the class engaged in relating the argument and our interpretations to the present in trying to understand ourselves.”

As impressive as the way Dr. Dain leads his seminars is how he sets an example of lifelong learning, his nominator said. “My biggest takeaway from having Professor Dain is that he’s shown he’s just as much a student as he is a professor,” the student said. “When other professors on the DWC team are lecturing, he pays attention and takes notes. From a student perspective, seeing him delve deeper into the presented material and seek to get as much out of the material as possible is admirable and encouraging.”

In addition to the work in the classroom for which he is being honored, Dr. Dain is an active scholar – authoring numerous academic journal articles, book chapters, and encyclopedia entries, and regularly presenting his research at international conferences and workshops. His research focuses especially on the work of Ludwig Wittgenstein – applying the insights and methods of Wittgenstein’s philosophy to contemporary problems in ethics, philosophy of language, and philosophy of mind, among other areas.

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Dain on this well-deserved honor.