Braden Mechley
Excellence in Teaching Award

One day, when Classics The poem in question was one in which Horace was ranting and raving to his ex-girlfriend about how badly she had treated him. He wanted to know who her new boyfriend was because the poor man would surely rue the day he'd met her. It was an example of the "real Latin" Mechley likes to offer beginning students who spend most of their time laboring over cases and verb declensions--and just one example of why he is a winner of the 1997 Excellence in Teaching Award given to outstanding TAs.

"I want to be rigorous in my teaching, but I also want to inject some humor," Mechley says. "I knew that poem wasn't what students think of as Latin poetry, which is why I wanted them to read it. I want them to see a range of expression and a range of attitudes, to see what ancient culture and ancient thought processes were like."

Doing so evidently doesn't take away from their learning the language. Classics Professor Catherine Connors, who supervised Mechley in his Latin teaching, had this to say: "Brady is simply a superb teacher, the very best I have supervised here. He is exceptionally clear and lively as an instructor. I have also realized in teaching his former students in the upper levels of Latin, that when students learn their basics from him, they never forget!"

A native of Cincinnati, Mechley earned his undergraduate degree at Holy Cross College in Worcester, Mass., where he was the recipient of the Henry Bean Classics Scholarship. In addition to Latin, he has taught Greek, epic poetry and Classics 101, a vocabulary class. He hopes to finish his doctoral degree in 1998 and move on to a faculty position "at an institution that values teaching."

Mechley is modest about his classroom accomplishments. "I really believe in what I'm teaching," he says. "I believe that if you present it in a lively and enthusiastic way, the material itself will do the rest of the work." --Nancy Wick, UW Office of News and Information

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