Every year Dartmouth names a few of its top faculty to endowed professorships, recognizing their scholarship, teaching, and service to the College community as models of Dartmouth’s liberal arts ideal. This year, six members of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences have been appointed to endowed chairs, including David Bucci, Chair of the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. Professor Bucci now holds the Ralph and Richard Lazarus Professorship in Psychological and Brain Sciences and Human Relations.
In the announcement of his appointment, Professor Bucci described some of his approach to research and teaching, "It’s amazing that the three-pound mass of cells and tissue that we know as the brain gives rise to our behavior, our emotions, and in particular, our memories. I want to understand how that happens. Memory is not only important for survival, but also defines who we are as individual human beings. Sadly, that means that aging and illnesses of the brain that impair memory lead not only to difficulties in daily routines, but also in our recognition and understanding of ourselves and others. My hope is that studying the brain mechanisms that give rise to learning and memory will help us better understand what goes wrong when an individual experiences memory impairments, in hopes of developing new means of intervention and prevention.
"My approach to teaching is based on two main goals: to have students take ownership of their learning and be actively engaged in the learning process. With information now readily available via the Internet and other sources, my approach has shifted from delivering the knowledge itself to guiding what students do with that information. Perhaps my favorite aspect of working with students is exposing them to new ways of thinking, seeing them become passionate about a topic, and providing them with the experience of discovering new knowledge themselves."
To read about the other faculty named to endowed chairs, see the full article in Dartmouth Now.
Excerpted from an article by Hannah Silverstein, MALS '09