Woodall earns MESA Undergraduate Education Award

The Middle East Studies Association (MESA) Undergraduate Award Committee has presented the 2023 MESA Undergraduate Education Award to Professor Carole Woodall, an Associate Professor in the Department of History.

A press release from MESA stated, “Woodall has shown a multi-disciplinary focus in her teaching, and the breadth of pedagogical focus in her work is impressive.” MESA also pointed out Woodall’s “exceptional contributions to pedagogy and the teaching of the Middle East.”

“She has developed history courses and teaching modules in subjects as wide-ranging as the Making of Modern Istanbul; The Late Ottoman Empire and the Turkish Republic; and Mass Consumption in the Middle East,” the release continued. “Professor Woodall has taught courses on women, including Women and War; Women’s Voices from the Margins, and Middle East Women in Film; and classes on Islam and the West, and on Modern Turkey in the Age of Political Islam and Twitter.”

“I am humbled and honored to receive this recognition for the corpus of my work and dedication to making the histories and experiences of the ‘Middle East’ and North Africa meaningful for UCCS students,” said Woodall. “Being recognized by the MESA committee was indeed a surprise.”

The press release also noted the diversity of teaching methods in Woodall’s classes, ranging from reflection exercises to collaborative podcasts, as well as her mentorship of many undergraduate and graduate students.

“Curating syllabi is such a creative process and an expression for students to understand how I think about the material,” Woodall said. “I have always likened my role to that of a conductor, and each student is a different instrument. As long as I am carefully listening to each student, the composition writes itself in each class and with each group of thinking people through the act of asking a question, thinking about context, motivation, intention, consequences, and impacts – the stuff of historical thinking.”

The committee was impressed by the written testimonies of 33 of her former students, who all spoke about the intellectual impact of Woodall’s innovative teaching and her extraordinary dedication as a mentor.

According to an alumna, “During my time at UCCS I have had many great professors who support and nurture the intellect of their students. However, Dr. Woodall goes above and beyond for her students. She is a kind and compassionate soul who utilizes her role to encourage student engagement and student success.”

Another student of Professor Woodall pointed out that “Professor Woodall sets the standards for professionalism in the world of higher learning.”

“Students surprise me, but beyond that, my work with students comes with responsibility and intensity,” Woodall said. “To be part of someone’s journey, challenges and successes, is powerful. To empower students by embracing the transformative possibilities that come with being vulnerable, being a member of a living world, is why I do what I do.”