Tim Hallett


President's Award for Teaching (2016)
Indiana University Bloomington
College of Arts and Sciences
Department of Sociology


Associate Professor of Sociology Tim Hallett says his motivation as a teacher is "the light-bulb effect"- the moment a student understands an idea for the first time. But his students and colleagues will tell you Hallett's impact goes beyond such moments and continues to inspire them long after their days at Indiana University. This is what faculty colleague Jennifer Lee calls "the Tim Hallett effect."

Throughout his 13 years at IU, Hallett has set a new standard for teaching. Described by professors of sociology as "absolutely brilliant" and as the presenter of "the best lectures we have ever attended," Hallett is known for classes that are engaging, interactive, and empowering students to have a voice- even in classes with more than 80 students.

With a reputation for being led by one of the most passionate professors on campus, Hallett's classes have brought in more sociology majors and minors than any other in the department- a testament to his positive influence. An even more remarkable achievement as an educator is the lasting impact his courses have on students, regardless of their majors or career paths.

The fact that Hallett's lessons stay with his students is attributable to his unique teaching methods. One of his most notable exercises is the "inner circle and outer circle," which ensures that all students participate in class. The exercise cycles groups of students sitting in the front to the back of the room. Quiet students become talkative, active participants by the end of the semester. For many students, his classes are transformative and the first time they feel comfortable speaking up in a college classroom.

Hallett's service to IU extends beyond teaching to his commitment to graduate mentorship. He currently serves on five dissertation committees and chairs three others, and has served on four MA committees and 15 qualifying exams. there is no question why Hallett received the sociology department's Faculty Mentor Award in 2009. Though Hallett has received a number of awards, including three University Trustees Teaching Awards and the Department of Sociology's Edwin H. Sutherland teaching Award, what is most impressive to his peers is his sincerity and humility.