Rev. Steven Avella became the eleventh history professor to win Marquette University’s highest honor when he accepted the Gettel Family Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence at the Pere Marquette banquet on May 6, 2010. Avella teaches courses on the modern U. S., including religious and western history, and is author of a number of books, including Capital City: The Catholic Church and the Shaping of Sacramento, 1850-2000 (Reno: University of Nevada Press, 2008); In the Richness of the Earth: A History of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, 1843-1958 (Milwaukee: Marquette University Press, 2002) ; and This Confident Church: Chicago Catholicism, 1940-1965 (South Bend: University of Notre Dame Press, 1992).
Avella's use of novels, photo archives and even YouTube videos to "humanize" the narrative of U.S. history engages students in the classroom. "Teaching has been in my blood since I was a high school student," said Avella. "I have always admired the men and women who could tell great stories and make the human experience come alive. I have tried to imitate those great teachers with the students God gives me each semester. I enjoy telling them the stories of ournational past, especially our evolving American culture."
Click here for a transcript for Dr. Avella’s remarks at the Pere Marquette Banquet.