Jeanne Sept


Frederic Bachman Lieber Memorial Award (2014)
Indiana University Bloomington
College of Arts and Sciences
Department of Anthropology


Since 1987, Jeanne Sept has been teaching anthropology at Indiana University with a deep enthusiasm and desire to remain at the forefront of learning techniques and technology. Many former students, assistant instructors, fellow anthropology department faculty members and university administrators can attest to her engaging energy in the classroom; Jeanne has gained national and international recognition for her unique and creative approaches to challenging students to think like an archeologist.

In addition to traditional classroom teaching, Sept embraces emerging technologies to facilitate learning. She led a team that developed Investigating Olduvai, critically acclaimed CD-ROM courseware designed to deepen students' understanding of how archaeologists interpret ancient sites and the ways Tanzania's Olduvai Gorge may have appeared to its earliest inhabitants. It has been adopted for courses at more than 20 universities, including Yale University, the University of California, and La Trobe University in Australia. Another project, "Prehistoric Puzzles ",used online resources to create an interactive web environment for students to explore, analyze, and interpret data from actual sites in Africa.

In the late 1990s, the area of inquiry called Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL) became a focus at IU Bloomington. Sept was chosen in 2000 as associate dean of the faculties to lead that effort with Moya Andrews. Under their leadership, IU became a national leader in SOTL and won the highly competitive Theodore Hesburgh Award from the American Council of Education.

Sept served as dean of the faculties and vice provost for academic affairs from 2004 to 2008, while continuing to teach a large, introductory course. She also chaired the anthropology department from 2003 to 2004. Sept received her undergraduate degree (1977), masters degree (1980) and doctoral degree (1984) from University of California, Berkeley.