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May 16, 2006

UCSD Academic Senate to Honor Seven Faculty Members
and Three Graduate Students June 2 for Teaching Excellence

By Jan Jennings

Seven professors and three graduate students at the University of California, San Diego will be honored for excellence in teaching June 2 in the Cecil and Ida Green Faculty Club courtyard and dining room. A reception will be held at 3:30 p.m. and the program will begin at 4 p.m.

The Distinguished Teaching Awards are sponsored by the San Diego Division of the Academic Senate at UCSD.

Speakers who will address the importance of teaching excellence, innovation, and accessibility and communication with students include UCSD Chancellor Marye Anne Fox; Jean-Bernard Minster, chair of the Academic Senate, and Janet Smarr, chair of the Academic Senate’s Committee on Distinguished Teaching.

The Distinguished Teaching Awards for faculty members of the Academic Senate include professors James Kulik, psychology; Grant Kester, visual arts; Joel P. Conte, structural engineering; John Eggers, mathematics, and Eric Bakovic, linguistics.

The Barbara J. and Paul D. Saltman Distinguished Teaching Award honorees are professors Keith Pezzoli, urban studies and planning, and John Granger, literature.

The Barbara J. and Paul D. Saltman Excellent Teaching Award/Graduate Student honorees are Bart Raeymaekers, mechanical engineering; Michael Evans, sociology, and Heather Bond Poje, anthropology.

Each recipient brings an individual teaching style and passion for his/her subject as described by students and colleagues and quoted in their award certificates.

James Kulik – His students frequently claim that he is the best instructor they have had at UCSD. Students find his courses tough and challenging, but they rave about the professor.

Grant Kester – It is long standing and understood by all of his colleagues that Grant Kester is an outstanding educator in the Visual Arts Department. He garners student praise at every level.

Joel P. Conte – He furnishes basic as well as advanced knowledge and maintains the highest standards. Students enjoy unbounded face-to-face time with him as the teaches, advises and mentors.

John Eggers – He exhibits all the qualities of an effective instructor: patience, clarity, helpfulness, and perception. He has a knack, students say, for explaining difficult concepts.

Eric Bakovic – Students praise his balance between theory and practice, clear organization, enthusiasm for material, rapport with students, accessibility, and effective use of technology.

Keith Pezzoli – A consummate educator, he fosters student learning while encouraging high standards. He has an impressive folder containing hundreds of glowing letters from students.

John Granger – His caring, even-tempered pedagogical style, his rigorous adherence to standards, and his attention to student needs have made him one of UCSD’s most popular teachers.

Bart Raeymaekers – He has made a difference with his presence, his creative thinking, and his ability and drive to communicate effectively with undergraduate students … excels in all aspects.

Michael Evans – Students consistently give him their highest ratings. They use phrases like “awesome TA,” “honestly seems to care about his students,” and “made it so no one wanted to miss his class.”

Heather Bond Poje – A dedicated and caring graduate student teaching assistant, she is enthusiastic about her subject matter and concerned with finding new ways to teach her students.

The Distinguished Teaching Awards were established in 1992 to recognize a select number of faculty Academic Senate members who have made extraordinary contributions to UCSD as teachers. The late Paul Saltman, professor of biology, was one of the first award recipients.

In 1999, the Barbara and Paul Saltman Endowment Fund was established to recognize non-Senate faculty members and graduate students for their teaching excellence.

Funds for the awards are provided by the Chancellor, the Senior Vice Chancellor-Academic Affairs, the Vice Chancellor-External Relations, and donors to the Barbara and Paul Saltman Endowment Fund.

Media Contact: Jan Jennings, (858) 822-1684


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