Institute member V. Page Fortna has received Columbia’s Lenfest Distinguished Teaching Award. She teaches courses tied to her research about the aftermath of war, including how wars end, the durability of peace, and the causes and effects of terrorism in civil wars. The chair of the Political Science Department and a Professor at the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies, she says “excitement about the material” is the most important quality of a good teacher—and also of a good student. “I try to keep the discussion informal and to get everyone in the class participating,” she said. She begins her seminar on “Ending Wars and Keeping Peace” by asking students, “what is war?” That gets everyone engaged right away. She is the author of two books, Does Peacekeeping Work? Shaping Belligerents’ Choices after Civil War and Peace Time: Cease-Fire Agreements and the Durability of Peace. Fortna especially likes teaching seminars, when she “can get students engaged with the material, debating questioning and thinking critically.” She came to Columbia in 1999 after earning a Ph.D. from Harvard and says she tries to emulate her graduate adviser, as well as an undergraduate mentor at Wesleyan, who pushed students hard without ever being harsh. “I have found that students generally rise to the occasion when standards are set high and discussions are respectful and thought-provoking,” she says.