American Sociological Association

Diane Pike Award Statement

Diane Pike - Award Statement

Diane Pike, Professor of Sociology at Augsburg College, is one of the key driving forces to advance the importance of teaching sociology within her institution, within the Midwest Sociological Society, within the ASA Section on Teaching and Learning, within task forces of the ASA, and within consultancy provided to colleges and universities across the country.  At each level, she moved forward with remarkable energy to centralize teaching as a primary professional activity within the discipline, as well as to identify and promote the effective teaching of sociology in accordance with the standards of the scholarship of teaching and learning.  She has inspired others by her unwavering passion for sociology and by her devotion to passing on the discipline through teaching.

At her institution, in addition to her quality work within the classroom, Diane Pike directed the Center for Teaching and Learning for 6 years.  In the Midwest Sociological Society, she chaired the Committee on Undergraduate Education, and in her role as President-elect, organized the 2009 annual meetings around the theme “Teaching Sociological Scholarship.”  Throughout her career, she organized and presented well-received teaching paper sessions, professional workshops, panels, keynotes, and roundtables at both her institution and at regional meetings, as well as at nearly every meeting of the American Sociological Association for the past two decades.  

Within the American Sociological Association, her contributions in centralizing teaching are significant, including intense involvement with the Section on Teaching and Learning as a past chair, and also as lead organizer of the 2010 and 2011 pre-conferences “The Best Teachers We Can Be.”  She is among the most active members of the Departmental Resources Group, including its Advisory Council, and has provided program review, mentorship and consultation to nearly 20 departments and scholars, as well as training to other members of that group.  Her efforts as a Teaching Resources and Innovations Library for Sociology (TRAILS) Area Editor for the area of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning helped the ASA disseminate successful teaching techniques.  As a member of the ASA Task Force on Creating an Effective Assessment Plan for the Sociology Major, her substantial contributions facilitated the identification and assessment of learning objectives, making it possible for departments to reconsider their curricula.   She currently serves as an Associate Editor for the ASA journal Teaching Sociology and has been a peer reviewer for several journals for over 20 years. And, she has published and presented on core concerns that reveal the impact that quality teaching can have on professional lives and the development of students, including a comparative quantitative analysis of the journal Teaching Sociology with other disciplines’ pedagogical journals.

 Diane Pike’s ambitious vision identifies outmoded practices and perspectives, and seeks to help not only individuals, but also departments, institutions, and the profession move beyond what she termed, in an address published in The Sociological Quarterly, “The Tyranny of Dead Ideas in Teaching and Learning.” Perhaps her most visible accomplishment to members of the ASA is the institutionalization of the phrase “If you teach, you belong” to emphasize the centrality of teaching to the professional lives of sociologists, providing further impetus to join the Section on Teaching and Learning.  For all these efforts, Dr. Pike has received significant professional recognition, including institutional, state, regional and section awards.

As her nominator (Kathleen McKinney) stated, and was reiterated in the perspectives offered in letters of support from colleagues:
Virtually all of Diane Pike’s work has focused on improving teaching and learning in sociology beyond the local level, whether that work was teaching-learning sessions or workshops, other faculty development efforts, department resource group reviews, efforts to improve assessment, or professional service work related to teaching….Diane is one of our most motivated, enthusiastic, upbeat, hardworking, honest and generous colleagues.”