News Story

Two College Professors Selected for Prestigious President’s Awards for Distinguished Scholar-Teachers

Department of Psychology professor Rachel Barr and Department of History professor Alison Games were chosen for this year’s President’s Awards for Distinguished Scholar-Teachers.  This award is given annually to recognize and celebrate the integration of outstanding research and excellence in teaching at the university. It not only honors the individual recipients but also emphasizes standards of excellence at Georgetown.

Rachel Barr

Professor Rachel Barr, Department of Psychology

Barr is considered a national child development and media expert. Her research seeks to understand the development of infant learning and memory through the Georgetown Early Learning Project, of which she is the director. Specifically, the psychologist studies the influence of environmental contexts such as digital spaces, linguistics and parenting on early socio-cognitive development.

Jennifer Woolard, chair of the psychology department, says that Barr’s work not only “tackles some of the important questions of this time, but has resulted in evidence-based interventions that support some of the most challenging and challenged young people in our society.”   

“Dr. Barr’s scholarship and teaching are grounded in a commitment to collaboration with students, scholars, policymakers and practitioners alike,” Woolard explains. “She has created a student-centered dynamic learning environment that generates cutting-edge research and produces first-rate scholarship in partnership with outstanding students.” 

Currently, she is the president-elect of the International Congress for Infant Studies. She has mentored more than 90 undergraduate students, many of whom have gone on to pursue graduate degrees in addition to mentoring graduate doctoral students at the university. 

“I feel incredibly honored to receive this award,” says Barr. “Developmental Science is a team sport and I am incredibly grateful to my students and collaborators who I have worked with over the years”.  

Alison Games

Alison Games

Professor Alison Games, Department of History

The Dorothy M. Brown Distinguished Professor of History, Games teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on subjects related to early America, the Atlantic world and European expansion and global interaction. 

Games is the author of several books, most recently Inventing the English Massacre: Amboyna in History and Memory (2020). She has held a variety of external fellowships including the Hans Kohn Member of the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. 

The professor says that she was “thrilled to receive this award.”

“Teaching and scholarship are intertwined in significant ways in my work at Georgetown, and receiving this award makes me acutely aware of how fortunate I am to work in a department that values both enterprises equally,” Games says.

Bryan McCann, chair of the history department, says that he and his colleagues are “so happy to see the professor’s work across categories recognized.”

“Alison Games is an inspiring scholar/teacher who brings the same passion and commitment, leavened with a sharp sense of humor, to all her endeavors including her own research, her graduate mentoring, her undergraduate teaching and her service to the department and the university,” McCann explains. 

More About the Awards 

Each year, the President names outstanding full-time faculty members to receive the awards and be recognized as Distinguished Scholar-Teachers. Award recipients receive an annual grant of $10,000 for three academic years to support their scholarship. The recipients of the President’s Awards will be recognized during the virtual 2021 Spring Faculty Convocation.

-by Shelby Roller (G’19)