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UC San Diego 2010 Teaching Awards Recognize 11 for Exemplary Classroom Skills

october 14, 2010

By Paul K. Mueller

UC San Diego’s Academic Senate has awarded the 2010 Distinguished Teaching Awards to five senate members and three non-senate members, and Excellent Teaching Awards to three graduate students, in recognition of their exemplary teaching skills.

The presentation and a reception honoring the awardees were held on Friday, Oct. 15, in the Ida and Cecil Green Faculty Club on campus. The awards were presented by Chancellor Marye Anne Fox; Frank Powell Jr., chair of the Academic Senate; and Steven Schick, chair of the Committee on Distinguished Teaching.
Members of the senate receiving the Distinguished Teaching Award were Stuart Anstis, psychology; Hasan Kayali, history; Anna Joy Springer, literature; Eric Watkins, philosophy; and K. Wayne Yang, ethic studies.

Receiving the Barbara J. and Paul D. Saltman Distinguished Teaching Award for non-senate members were Ken Anderson, music; Cynthia Gustafson-Brown, biological sciences; and Rebecca Wells, literature.

Receiving the Barbara J. and Paul D. Saltman Excellent Teaching Award were graduate students Julia Claggett, biological sciences; Ashlee Henig, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; and James Messina, philosophy.

“Superlative and innovative teaching has been a hallmark of this institution since our inception 50 years ago,” said Chancellor Fox. “These distinguished teachers exemplify that proud tradition.”

“I think the most impressive thing about the awardees is the breadth and depth they demonstrate in outstanding undergraduate teaching at UCSD,” said Chair Powell. “The list includes educators from the sciences to arts and humanities, who also range from full professors to graduate-student teaching assistants. Their diversity shows how a student from any background can find an appropriate role model and mentor at UCSD. Knowing these outstanding educators makes it easy to understand how UCSD ranks at or near the top of overall ratings for public universities in the U.S.”

Stuart Anstis, his award notes, is “very adept at advancing an audience’s understanding of the material and at using elegant and convincing demonstrations to illustrate key theoretical points…He remains an entertaining, stimulating and inspiring presence in the classroom.”

Hasan Kayali “has the reputation among undergraduate and graduate students of being a most extraordinary teacher…He reflects the very best practices of university teaching, in both large lecture halls and small seminars.”

Anna Joy Springer “has demonstrated a singular ability to combine praxis-based learning with intellectual rigor…and has developed a unique pedagogical technique that maximizes reader-writer-text interrelationships.”

Eric Watkins “is that rare breed of academic who excels on three fronts – research, teaching, and service to the university and profession…He consistently receives rave reviews in all his teaching evaluations.”
K. Wayne Yang “represents a new generation of faculty at a critical juncture in UC San Diego’s history…who will bring about transformative diversity to our campus.”

Ken Anderson is recognized for his “ability to routinely organize more than 500 students, educate them in the musical genre, and get them singing and performing onstage quickly…simply amazing.”

Cynthia Gustafson-Brown “excels in teaching both science and non-science majors and consistently receives enthusiastic A++ ratings from students…Complex biological processes are presented in a way that any student would be able to understand.”

Rebecca Wells “has been a cornerstone of Russian studies at UC San Diego for more than two decades…She is a dynamo in the classroom, using a rapid-fire teaching method to keep students on the edge of their seats and encourage them to love what they are learning.”

Julia Claggett is a “highly gifted and effective teacher, mentor, and science ambassador…and exemplifies the best of what it means to be a teaching assistant.”

Ashlee Henig “is an engaging and organized instructor who is very much in command of the material, holds the attention of the entire class, and receives glowing student reviews.”

James Messina “has the special talent of being able to draw his students into a topic in a completely natural and compelling way…and guides students to understand the higher level at which the issue needs to be approached.”
Distinguished Teaching Awards for senate members are $1,500 each, the Saltman Awards for non-senate members are $1,000 each, and the Saltman Excellent Teaching Awards for graduate students are $500 each. Funds for the awards and the reception are provided by the chancellor, the senior vice chancellor for Academic Affairs, and donors to the Barbara and Paul Saltman Endowment Fund. 


Media Contact: Paul K. Mueller, 858-534-8564 or pkmueller@ucsd.edu

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