Weihong Bao

Dec 2008

Professor Bao is an amazing teacher in the small seminar classes she seems to be choosing to teach. While her standards are intellectually rigorous, she is never condescending to those who may need a few extra moments to grasp concepts. She keeps the discussion flowing, introduces new threads, shows her knowledge without grandstanding. She also constructs a syllabus that is an amazing blend of readings from many disciplines (as well as really interesting films), I cannot predict how well she would perform in a large lecture course if she is ever assigned one. Her style is that of a brilliant young professor in a small and progressive independent liberal-arts college, and that is a breath of fresh air in Morningside Heights. One criticism: I do not know if it is Professor Bao's falult or that of the somewhat disorganized EALAC department, but her grades never seem to get promptly posted. This is frustrating but given Prof. Bao's true compassion for her students, I cannot imagine it is purposely done by her. It does need to be addressed however.

Nov 2007

Professor Bao represents what makes an institution like Columbia as special as it is. She is a new faculty-person, but directs her class with the wisdom and poise of someone with many many more years to their career. She is amazingly brilliant, personally charming, incredibly insightful and, yet, extremely humble. She direct class conversation well, clearly is concerned with the success of her students, and in a quiet and unassuming way manages to make a strong instructor presence. The material she presents is not simple but she guides the class through difficult material expertly. I will, in the future, search for her name in class listings and strongly consider a class if it carries her name.