Two Mershon affiliates have won the Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching this year -- Mathew Coleman, associate professor of geography, and David Hoffmann, professor of history.

Coleman’s interests focus on immigration law and politics. Specifically, he is interested in issues related to the U.S.-Mexico border, interior immigration enforcement, critical geopolitics, political geography, states and statecraft, geographies of power and resistance. Coleman teaches courses on political geography, geopolitics, law and empire.

Hoffmann specializes in Russian and Soviet history, with a focus on the political, social, and cultural history of Stalinism. His most recent book, Cultivating the Masses: Modern State Practices and Soviet Socialism, 1914-1939 (Cornell University Press, 2011), was supported by a Mershon Center grant.

“Dr. Coleman’s commitment to students is unparalleled,” a nominator wrote. “He is more than an outstanding professor; he is a genuinely great person who is able to inspire students, encourage them to believe in themselves and challenge them to imagine a better world.”

“Despite his impressive intellect and scholarly eminence, Dr. Hoffmann is able to connect with all of his students,” a student nominator wrote. “He is able to guide, correct and encourage students to arrive at historical insights all on their own.”

Find out more about the Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching at