Office of the Provost

German Professor Receives Finch Award, $5,000 Prize

  • News Image
    President Edward Burger presents the 2014 William Carrington Finch Award to Erika Berroth. (Photo by Carlos Barron)

Award is presented at Commencement every two years

Erika Berroth, a German professor who has worked hard to provide intercultural learning experiences for Southwestern students, has received the 2014 William Carrington Finch Award from Southwestern University.

The award is given every other year to a full-time faculty member “for exemplary accomplishment in furthering the aims of Southwestern University.” This award recognizes excellence in teaching, research, community service, and furthering the aims of the University. It is presented at Commencement and includes a $5,000 prize. The award is named for Southwestern’s 11th president.

Berroth has been a member of the Southwestern faculty since 2004. She has served as chair of the Chinese, French and German Programs in the Modern Languages and Literatures Department and as a Paideia Professor.

Berroth’s “Berlin Stories” introduces First-Year and Transfer Students to interdisciplinary and intercultural perspectives. To increase the impact of Southwestern’s small German program, Berroth taught in Southwestern’s London program in fall 2010 and worked with head football coach Joe Austin to develop a study abroad trip to Germany for some of the Southwestern football players in May 2014.

Since joining the Southwestern faculty, Berroth has made a concerted effort to increase the number of graduating seniors who receive Fulbright fellowships to teach English abroad. Since 2008, 11 Southwestern students have received these nationally competitive awards.

Berroth is currently working on a book about the contemporary German author Marica Bodrožić, who won the European Union Prize for Literature in 2013.

“Dr. Berroth inspires us all with her remarkable open and collaborative nature,” said President Edward Burger. “Her energy and creativity appears to know no bounds and it is a great delight to be able to acknowledge and celebrate all the gifts she brings to Southwestern.”

William Carrington Finch was a member of the faculty at Southwestern from 1941 to   1950 and served as president from 1950 to 1961. The Finch Award was made possible by a gift from his wife, Lucy Finch, and their two sons, Dr. William Tyree Finch and Dr. Richard Carrington Finch.

Previous recipients of the Finch Award are Walt Herbert (1980), Weldon Crowley (1982), Ellsworth Peterson (1984), Leonard Giesecke (1986), Martha Allen (1988), Jan Dawson (1990), Robert Soulen (1992), Gwen Kennedy Neville (1994), Doug Hooker (1996), Ed Kain (1998), Vicente Villa (2000), Patrick Veerkamp (2002), Dan Hilliard (2004), Jesse Purdy (2006), Laura Hobgood-Oster (2008) and Kenny Sheppard (2010) and Jimmy Smith (2012).

Berroth said receiving the award was “a great surprise and a wonderful recognition of the work I love.”