Congratulations to Dr. Adam Jolles, who received the 2018–19 FSU Graduate Teaching Award, a university recognition of outstanding mentoring and teaching in the classroom. The award is administered by the Office of the Provost on the basis of student and alumni nominations. In the graduate division, only eight of these highly competitive awards are given each year. Dr. Jolles is renowned among his graduate students for creating a challenging yet constructive environment in the classroom and maintaining, as one student writes, “a welcoming open-door policy with each of us despite his administrative workload as chair of the department. I never have the sense that I’m interrupting something more important, even with a drop-in meeting.”
Dr. Jolles well represents the excellence of the Art History faculty, who balance their extensive research with their investment in their students’ success. Past university award recipients include Lynn Jones, Robert Neuman, and Patricia Rose for teaching, and Lauren Weingarden for undergraduate research mentorship. Recipients of the College of Fine Arts Distinguished Teaching and Research Awards include Jack Freiberg and Lynn Jones.
Below, selections from the graduate student nominations for Dr. Jolles.
Dr. Jolles is so skilled at interweaving themes and ideas into the broader organization of his classes. The very subject matter of these classes – propaganda and art, art and the grotesque – were often philosophical in nature but open to so many eras and interests that the class discussions and presentations were always multi-faceted and diverse in a way that helps one see the broader concepts that subtly shape our discipline. I try, always, to be as engaging and passionate as Dr. Jolles is in his teaching. I hope I can convey even a small percent of his nuance and eloquence. I couldn’t think of anyone more deserving for this award.
Dr. Jolles is the reason that I moved from Kansas to come to FSU. And I’m so glad that I did, because over the past three years I’ve been able to develop relationships with not only my major professor, but other wonderful faculty members in the Department of Art History. As I soon embark on full-time dissertation research and writing, I look back on the valuable mentorships I received from Dr. Jolles and my dissertation committee. These relationships and experiences have not only shaped who I have become as an instructor, but they will continue to play a major part in my professional development.
Dr. Jolles is continuously supportive of his students’ questions, feelings, and concerns. He speaks to us as peers so that we feel heard and respected. At the same time he is able to carefully balance critical advice with positive reinforcement, allowing students to grow from young scholars into advanced researchers, and from advanced researchers to colleagues. Dr. Jolles’ success as a mentor lies in his empowerment of his students’ passions and ideas in their own scholarship, and he regularly encourages them to project their voices through article publications, conference presentations, and fellowship applications.