Donald Hornstein, the Aubrey L. Brooks professor at the UNC School of Law, loves teaching as much as he loves knowing he and his wife are now on equal playing fields since he won the 2019 Award for Excellence in Teaching selected by the UNC Board of Governors.
Hornstein's wife, Amy Sheck, teaches at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics. This past year, she won the BOG Award for Excellence in Teaching.
“I was very happy to get the Board of Governors this year so there will be peace in our household and Amy could stop holding it over me," Hornstein said. “The bottom line is, both Amy and I like working with young people, especially now that our kids have graduated and gotten older.”
Hornstein teaches at the UNC School of Law, but this award is primarily for the work he has done as an undergraduate teacher. He has taught the undergraduate course "Environmental Law and Policy" for about a decade.
“We take great pride in honoring these recipients," said UNC Board of Governors Chairperson Harry Smith in a statement. "They all bring a high standard of excellence in the classroom through creative teaching methods that impact our students."
When he was an undergraduate, Hornstein was on the debate team at the University of California, Los Angeles. He noticed that there was a correlation between people that participate in debate and people who enjoy legal questions. Since he was surrounded by many people that were interested in law, he decided to give it a shot as well.
Hornstein was the first in his family to go to college, let alone go to law school.
Hornstein started as a lawyer in Washington, D.C., and worked on the D.C. Circuit, the second highest court in the United States. After that, he went to the U.S. Department of Justice, where he was an environmental litigator for many years before going to the law firm Arnold & Porter.
“It was my wife’s turn in the marriage to drag us to a place that was good for their career, and she picked N.C. State as the place to get her Ph.D.,” Hornstein said.