History department Head Richard Cosgrove is going on "permanent sabbatical" after 36 years at the UA, but not before garnering one more award for teaching.
Cosgrove has earned a Provost's General Education Teaching Award for 2003.
His departure, say a number of his colleagues, leaves a significant hole in one of the school's oldest departments. It is less about his veteran status on the history faculty (he's been at the UA since 1967), and more about his "steadfast and longstanding commitment to undergraduate education," wrote Professor Helen Nader in her nomination of Cosgrove for the award.
Cosgrove also won the Five Star Faculty Award, given by UA students as their pick as the best teacher in 1983, and Adviser of the Year in 1988 in what was then the College of Arts and Sciences. In 1997 he was selected as a University Distinguished Professor, the highest acknowledgment for excellence in teaching awarded at the UA.
As a member of the pre-law advisory council, Cosgrove helped students prepare for law school at the UA and other schools nationally. As the scholarship coordinator for the Honors College, he counseled students for some of the world's most prestigious academic prizes, including the Rhodes, Marshall, Truman and Goldwater scholarships, among others.
In her nomination of Cosgrove for the Provost's Award, Nader wrote that it would be "an appropriate crown to his years at the University of Arizona, not as an obligatory parting gesture . . . but as a recognition of what has been at the heart of his career: his commitment to students."
A recognized authority on the legal and constitutional history of England, Cosgrove said his own liberal arts education at Holy Cross contributed to his notion that senior faculty ought to teach undergraduates. His own class on the history of England, beginning with the invasion by the Romans to A.D. 1603, has been a perennial favorite among students.
He also has kept pace with newer teaching methods and technology, frequently using images of material culture and video clips as ways to engage students and help them understand the context of what they are learning.
While head of the department, Cosgrove maintained the breadth of general education offerings in history, attended by more than thousand students each semester. Two years ago, when the demand for seats exceeded the UA's initial expectation, Cosgrove added more sections and recruited graduate teaching assistants to lead classes and work as writing tutors for Tier One students.