2023 Father James L. Shilts Teaching Award

Author: Judy Hygema

Michael Gekhtman

Father James L. Shilts, C.S.C./Doris and Gene Leonard Teaching Award

This award, bestowed annually on a faculty member in the College of Science, is named in honor of Father James Shilts, C.S.C., who taught in the Department of Physics from 1961 until his death in 1982, and was endowed in 1984 by Dr. Eugene T. Leonard III in memory of his parents Dr. Eugene and Doris Leonard.  Dr. Leonard III was a member of the Science Advisory Council from 1976 until 1991. The award recognizes a faculty member who has demonstrated sustained excellence in teaching.

The 2023 recipient is: Michael Gekhtman, Ph.D.

Gekhtman is a Professor in the Department of Mathematics. Gekhtman graduated from Kiev State University in 1985 and earned a Ph.D. from the Institute of Mathematics in the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences in 1990. Gekhtman joined the Department of Mathematics at Notre Dame as a visiting assistant professor in 1998 and became a member of the regular faculty as an associate professor in 2000. Gekhtman was promoted to professor in 2007. During his teaching career at Notre Dame, Gekhtman has become renowned for his willingness to teach almost any course, amassing an impressive 28 distinct courses among his list of classes taught.  Gekhtman is known to both students and colleagues as a passionate and empathetic instructor capable of both challenging and uplifting his students. He is also a generous mentor, providing guidance to colleagues seeking to benefit from his years of successful teaching.