June 29, 1998
UCSC honors 11 faculty members for excellence in teaching
This year's Excellence in Teaching Award winners are joined at a University House reception by Chancellor Greenwood and Committee on Teaching chair Campbell Leaper (back row, left). At the same reception, 10 outstanding teaching assistants were also honored (see photo).
A UCSC academic committee has selected the recipients of the 1997-98
Excellence in Teaching Awards. The 11 professors and lecturers were nominated
for the award by students, who described their teachers as inspirational,
enthusiastic, and passionate.
Chancellor Greenwood presented each winner with a framed certificate
and a $500 award at a ceremony at University House earlier this month.
In selecting the award recipients, the Committee on Teaching evaluated
nomination letters from students, endorsement letters from department chairs,
and statements on teaching from the nominees themselves. The Committee
on Teaching views the Excellence in Teaching Awards as an important act
of peer recognition for colleagues whose work as instructors is exemplary
The names of this year's recipients follow below, along with the wording
that appears on their certificates.
- Michael Dalbey (lecturer in biology) for inspiration, contagious enthusiasm,
and unending patience in guiding hundreds of students through complex and
detailed material successfully.
- A. Russell Flegal (professor of environmental toxicology and earth
sciences) for captivating enthusiasm, energy, and creativity in teaching;
for never underestimating students' intellect or potential; and for instilling
a sense of independence and accomplishment in all students.
- David Hoy (professor of philosophy) for thoughtful, serious, precise,
and inspirational teaching that provides a clear path through diverse,
esoteric, and subtle material and for deep commitment to students' learning.
- John Isbister (professor of economics) for exceptional commitment,
involvement, and enthusiasm; for encouraging students' wholehearted engagement
with learning; and for fostering an atmosphere of mutual respect in the
- Gary Miles (professor of history) for a deep commitment to undergraduate
teaching that emphasizes personal engagement, a spirit of cooperation,
community, and the importance of how to study and learn.
- Paul Nauert (assistant professor of music) for astoundingly intelligent,
energetic, and deeply committed teaching that renders complex materials
with crystal clarity, making them accessible and exciting for students.
- Cynthia Polecritti (associate professor of history) for enthusiastic,
well-organized, effective teaching; for passionate insistence on engagement
with original sources; and for genuine dedication to the education and
well-being of undergraduates.
- Paul Rangell (lecturer in art) for passion and energy in teaching lithography,
for dedication to preserving and passing on the knowledge and history of
printmaking, and for total commitment to awakening the creative potential
in students and steering them toward full realization of their ideas.
- Zack Schlesinger (professor of physics) for enthusiasm, sincerity,
dynamism, flexibility, and inventiveness; for persistently trying out new
ideas in the classroom; and for educating beyond the confines of the physics
- Helen Shapiro (associate professor of sociology) for engaging, inspiring,
dedicated teaching that demystifies economics, integrates research, and
brings out the very best in students, and for extraordinary versatility
in teaching for three different departments.
- Shelley Stamp (assistant professor of film and video) for a mesmerizing
style of teaching that transcends the typical lecture format and challenges
students to perform at their peak in a classroom environment conducive
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