Harriet Lyons, recipient of the Distinguished Teacher Award, 2004


Harriet Lyons, an associate professor in anthropology since 1991, teaches Principles of Social and Cultural Anthropology (Anth 202), Anthropology of Science Fiction (Anth 210), Magic, Witchcraft and Religion (Anth 311), History of Anthropological Thought (Anth 352) on campus as well as teaching the Introduction to Cultural Anthropology course (Anth 102) through distance education. Dr. Lyons taught the large anthropology of religion class by providing an excellent web page with power point presentations, course notes and research aids. A student commented that “I was always amazed at her ability to lecture for three hours and not consult any notes or aids. Her knowledge concerning both the history of anthropological thought and the present day issues and debates occurring within the discipline is profound.” Dr. Lyons uses her lifetime experiences to explain the material from a personal perspective. Her genuine interest in her field leads to lively and engaging classes. She provides extensive feedback to her students and stimulates much thought in her class discussions. A student commented that “every paper handed in to Dr. Lyons was returned about a pound heavier from all the ink!” She is also very willing to help individuals outside of class time. She takes the time to learn the student's names and their personal interests in anthropology. Dr. Lyons does her best to attend anthropology student society and departmental events when possible and has on several occasions offered to host such events at her home. For instance, Dr. Lyons and her husband host the exceptionally popular Sally Weaver and Silver Medal Awards reception at their home each year.