At the 2014 Chicago conference of the American Association of Teachers of Slavic & East European Languages, HSS Dean Benjamin Rifkin was given the “Award for Distinguished Service to the Profession” of teachers of Russian.
Congratulations to Dean Rifkin on this superb honor!
Below is an excerpt from the citation for his award (For the full citation click here):
This year’s recipient of the American Council of Teachers of Russian service award is Benjamin Rifkin. Ben is currently Dean of The School of Humanities And Social Sciences at The College of New Jersey. His previous career was in teaching Russian at Temple University, at Middlebury College Russian summer school where he also served as Director of the program, at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and – back in the day – at the Taft School in Connecticut. At Temple he also served as Vice Dean for Undergraduate Affairs in the College of Liberal Arts.
If you know Ben and are familiar with his work, you know that what defines his career are words like “Service”, “Distinguished Pedagogy in Teaching Russian”, “Leadership” and “Innovation.”
To start with “service,” Ben has served ACTR in a number of ways over the years. He brought a dynamic presence to the Board of Directors, contributing ideas and energy to discussions of all sorts of issues. He demonstrated strong commitment to ACTR programs and goals, especially supporting initiatives to strengthen Russian language learning at all levels. He initiated the post-secondary national Russian essay contest and was the original contest administrator. He began the Delaware Valley regional Olympiada of Spoken Russian and served as Chair for a number of years. He also proposed a revision of Olympiada materials, a project which is still underway.