year, the University of Washington honors faculty, staff, teaching
assistants, and programs for exceptional dedication and innovation.
Arts and Sciences recipients of these awards are profiled below.
These stories are excerpted from the University Week Awards Supplement.
Teaching Award: Philip Reid, Laura
Little , Julie Stein
Excellence in Teaching Award: Jennifer
Lavy , Mae Henderson
Distinguished Staff Award: Doug Machle
Graduate Mentor Award: Lesley Olswang
S. Sterling Munro Public Service Teaching Award:
Distinguished Contributions to Lifelong Learning
Award: Maria Gillman
Clowes Award for the Advancement of Learning
Communities: Stan Chernicoff
Other Awards, Honors, and Professorships
for A&S’s Top Teachers
The UW Distinguished
Teaching Award honors faculty who show a mastery of their subject
matter, intellectual rigor, lively curiosity, a commitment to research,
and a passion for teaching. Three Arts and Sciences faculty are
among the recipients for 2005.
Reid, Professor, Chemistry
When Philip Reid began teaching introductory chemistry four years
ago, he quickly realized he faced a big challenge.
He had honed his teaching
in small, highly focused upper division courses. Now he faced huge
classes filled with students with a variety of backgrounds and interests,
many of whom “bought into the ‘sage on a stage’
idea,” asking few questions and mostly just sitting there.
Reid, Julie Stein, and Laura Little (from left) are the
2005 UW Distinguished Teaching Award recipients from the
College of Arts and Sciences. Photo by Mary
Reid decided change was
needed. He introduced problems that students could solve by working
together and applying concepts learned previously in their laboratory
sections. He also developed web-based tools to help students keep
up. And he began using his own research as a teaching tool in the
“It takes chemistry out of this stodgy place,” says
Reid. “When you bring research into the classroom, you give
students the sense that it’s alive, that it is evolving.”
Reid also created handouts
that one former student says encouraged the class to take notes
but also provided sufficient information that students could take
the time to process what was being explained. “The content
and quality [of the handouts] rivaled that of the textbook,”
says the former student.
An overstatement? Evidently
not. “I found the notes so useful,” says the alumna,
“that at the end of the course I bound them in a notebook
that still sits on my bookshelf.”
Little, Senior Lecturer, Psychology
When Laura Little teaches
courses in research methods and statistics—large lecture classes
required for undergraduate psychology majors—she is aware
that most students enroll in the classes begrudgingly. “It
is not like a course in human sexuality where students are all ears
the first day of class,” she admits.
But Little is undaunted. “Teaching is teaching,” she
says. “I want my classroom to be a place where students can
learn, have a dialogue, and be where someone cares about them.”
set out to be a teacher. She was headed toward a career in law
but then returned to college to pursue a doctorate in psychology.
“I had taken plenty
of math as an undergraduate, but never statistics,” she says.
“I did well and before I knew it, I was being asked to teach
undergraduate statistics. Teaching snagged me from that first class.
I knew I wanted to do it for the rest of my life.”
In addition to teaching,
Little has played a key role in the Psychology Department’s
Psychology chair Ana
Mari Cauce says Little exemplifies everything the teaching awards
stand for, including “an absolutely lovely generosity of spirit
that extends to both faculty and students.” Undergraduates
describe Little’s sense of intellectual excitement as “infectious.”
“The joy is getting
students to ‘get it,’” says Little. “It
is so rewarding to have students for whom you can open doors to
Stein, Professor, Anthropology
and Divisional Dean, Infrastructure
Julie Stein says that
two of her passions are teaching and “digging in the dirt,”
something she has done annually since her sophomore year in college.
is so important to Stein, a geoarcheaologist, that when she became
a divisional dean her acceptance was conditional on being able to
continue in the classroom while dealing with her administrative
“I love archaeology
and the romance of discovering exciting things while being out in
the landscape,” says Stein. “With students I want to
impart that excitement.”
Stein fosters a sense
of collegiality with her students by involving them in the discovery
process. According to a departmental colleague, she truly involves
students in her research so they feel ownership and control.
“I believe if
you are going to teach not only what we know but how we know it,
the best way to accomplish this is by letting students do things,”
says Stein. “On a field trip or an excavation it takes all
my self-control not to say this is the way to do something. Instead,
I let them make the same mistakes we all do. But by working closely
with students, they almost always make a contribution and we have
a better process and product in the end.”
Assistants Honored for Teaching Excellence
Excellence in Teaching
Awards are given to graduate teaching assistants who demonstrate
outstanding skills in the classroom.
Henderson, Teaching Assistant, Women
Studies and American
When Mae Henderson returned
to school a few years back, she had every intention of becoming
a paralegal. But several professors and courses—first one
on African American literature, later one on Black Women in America—led
her in another direction: toward a bachelor’s degree and then
Lavy (left) and Mae Henderson received the 2005 UW Excellence
in Teaching Award. Photo by Nancy Joseph.
“It was a very
emotional class for me,” says Henderson, recalling the course
on Black Women in America. “I was able to see and feel a connection
between myself and the women I was learning about. I saw the personal
connect with the political.”
Now a PhD candidate in
the UW Department of Women Studies, Henderson enjoys providing others
with the same opportunities that brought her to the classroom and
watching them “take personal ownership” of what they
Women Studies chair Judy
Howard praises Henderson’s “passion for and astonishing
talent for teaching.” In addition to the excellence in teaching
award, Henderson has received the 2005 Graduate School Medal, a
high honor that includes a $10,000 fellowship.
Henderson hopes to continue
teaching, but she also wants to create a community center where
disadvantaged women can learn what opportunities life has for them.
All the experiences Henderson
has been through “mean nothing,” she explains, “if
you are not willing to share what you have learned with others.”
Lavy, Teaching Assistant, Drama
In high school, Jennifer
Lavy showed no interest in becoming a teacher. She wanted to do
something in theater, like acting or directing. Yet Lavy was already
a teacher. Because of her strong musical background, she’d
been asked to teach music to the choir in her school.
In the years since,
Lavy has continually been drawn to teaching and quasi-teaching roles.
But it is only now, as she works on her doctorate, that she is marrying
her passion for theater with her talent for teaching.
At the UW Lavy has taught
Introduction to Theater and Play Analysis, two courses heavily populated
with non- majors—who give her glowing reviews.
Lavy says she works
very hard to find a way to engage students “so they don’t
feel they’re just getting preached at.” Keeping lecturing
to a minimum, she assigns student presentations and group projects.
And she has an extensive website that includes discussion boards.
She also offers an optional writing credit in her classes, even
though it requires more rigorous and time-intensive interactions
with the students.
Lavy is willing to put
in the time, she says, because it is a privilege to teach others
about something she is so passionate about.
me to connect to a different time and different people, yet at the
same time create a community in the here and now,” she explains.
“I like the idea that I’m a conduit for something bigger
Award Recognizes Classic Skills
Sorry to say, there
are people who contact the Classics
Department seeking experts in Latin America. Well, after all,
the department does have Latinists.
If they do call, they are likely to receive the attention of Doug
Machle, assistant to the chair. He responds politely, but this is
one of the few questions that is not within his range of duties.
Machle. Photo by Mary Levin.
Machle, recipient of
the 2005 UW Distinguished Staff Award, “has served in more
capacities than should ever have been expected and with an expertise
and graciousness that almost defy belief,” says Classics Department
chair James Clauss, citing such tasks as overseeing department budgets,
leading graduate student orientation, advising undergraduate majors
and minors, and maintaining the department’s infrastructure.
Machle also brings his knowledge of five languages (more or less),
a tireless work ethic, and a relentlessly helpful attitude.
Machle first came to
the UW as a master’s student in Germanics. He still tutors
the department’s graduate students in German, since proficiency
in German translation is a degree requirement. After graduating
and working abroad for several years, he returned to work at the
UW in 1988.
One of the things Machle
likes most about his job, he says, is that “it’s not
linear. There is so much I have to remember, so many little items
that need taking care of.” He also finds joy in the collegiality
of the faculty. “They’re a wonderful bunch to work with,
extremely well read.”
The admiration is mutual.
Stephen Hinds, chair of the department from 1997 to 2002, admits
to having a “recurrent nightmare in which Doug Machle would
take a position elsewhere in the University and put me in the position
of having to draft a job description for his replacement.”
Fortunately for the
Classics Department, it’s only a bad dream.
Olswang. Photo by Mary Levin.
is her motto—one that I’ve tried to learn and live,”
writes a doctoral candidate describing Lesley Olswang, recipient
of this year’s Marsha L. Landolt Distinguished Graduate Mentor
Award. “She not only works to ensure the academic success
and intellectual growth of her students, but she also respects and
values the importance of personal time and family life. I cannot
recall a meeting where she did not ask after my
husband’s job or my daughter’s health.”
Olswang, professor of
speech and hearing
sciences, believes that mentoring has two parts. “One
is the intellectual-cognitive part that includes scholarly content,
tools, and methodology,” she says. “Then there is the
social-emotional part. Are they enjoying what they’re doing?
Are their lives in balance? Are they not too stressed?”
Olswang also emphasizes
the importance of building collegiality with graduate students,
something her students really appreciate.
“There was a spark,
a sense of dynamic communication, and a sense of mutual respect
and excitement that marked the beginning of a wonderful relationship
that has enriched my life on many levels,” says a former student,
recalling her first meeting with Olswang. Another praises Olswang’s
“careful and patient prodding and persistence that led to
my first successful publication.”
While Olswang believes
in being responsive and available, she also tries to instill the
importance of student independence—something that, in recent
months, she’s been gratified to discover her graduate students
have learned, since she is currently on medical leave, having undergone
two stem-cell transplants for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
“She has confidence
in me working independently,” says one graduate student. “While
struggling with personal health over the past months, she has still
managed to efficiently organize and prepare the transfer of certain
responsibilities, giving me the utmost professional guidance and
personal support in her own time of struggle. How she manages to
keep her focus and still have balance in her life is indeed remarkable.”
Politics Through Internships
As David Olson makes
his way through the marble halls of the state Capitol, he is frequently
interrupted. Lawmakers, lobbyists and aides—all veterans of
the Legislative Internship Program that Olson, professor
of political science,
has run for three decades—approach him to offer greetings.
Olson. Photo by Mary Levin.
“David is revered
by them and seen as their mentor,” says department chair Stephen
Majeski. “What an incredible legacy. And what an incredible
‘ambassador’ for the University.” For his efforts,
Olson is the 2005 recipient of the S. Sterling Munro Public Service
With Olson in charge,
the legislative program has grown to deploy at least two dozen students
to Olympia each winter. Matched with lawmakers and committees, the
students perform tasks ranging from answering constituent mail to
Olson, who became a professor
emeritus in June, also has launched dozens of students into internships
with labor unions, mayoral and city council offices, activist groups,
and political campaigns.
With his personal connections
and keen eye for political change, Olson also is among the UW faculty
members most sought-after by the press. During the West Coast waterfront
labor negotiations of 2002, he was quoted in national newspapers,
interviewed on CNN, and profiled in the Sunday New York Times.
part of Olson’s willingness to engage the world.
“David Olson has
been engaged in service learning since before it had a name,”
says Professor Margaret Levi, a Munro winner herself. “I cannot
imagine anyone more deserving of this award.”
to Lifelong Learning
Maria Gillman, recipient
of this year’s Distinguished Contributions to Lifelong Learning
Award, believes in the power of service-learning, where two equal
parties come together to gain knowledge from each other and immerse
themselves in each other’s cultures.
Gillman. Photo by Mary Levin.
Gillman, senior lecturer
in Spanish and Portuguese
Studies, incorporates a service-learning component into all
her projects, especially the Summer Institute for Spanish Teachers,
a program for secondary school Spanish teachers offered by UW
Educational Outreach. She has taught in the program since 1998.
Teachers enrolled in
the institute study in Guatemala, taking language classes in the
morning and going on excursions in the afternoon. They have visited
a women’s textile cooperative, schools for children displaced
by Guatemala’s 30-year civil war, and a school that trains
indigenous women to become educators.
“You can speak
Spanish or any other language very well but if you have no connection
with the culture of the language you are speaking, it is almost
useless to speak the language,” says Gillman, who explains
that the excursions are a way for institute participants to more
closely identify with their teaching counterparts in Guatemala.
“My goal is to
plant a seed in the summer institute teachers about the importance
of not just learning the language but the culture as well,”
Gillman says. “Then I step back and let the teachers take
the learning as far as they want to.”
the UW Experience
After presenting his
first lecture—to a class of 700 students—Stan Chernicoff
was approached by a freshman in the class. The student, from a town
of 200 people, was feeling as if the UW was too big for him. “Let’s
see what we can do to make it smaller,” Chernicoff said.
Twenty-four years later,
that guiding principle is one of the reasons Chernicoff has won
the James D. Clowes Award for the Advancement of Learning Communities.
Chernicoff. Photo by Mary Levin.
Making the UW experience
more personal is behind many of his activities, including the two-year-old
Center for Learning and Undergraduate Enrichment (CLUE), which he
founded. CLUE is an evening study center that hosts more than 40,000
student visits each year.
Chernicoff, a senior
lecturer in the Department
of Earth and Space Sciences and assistant dean for academic
support in the Office of
Undergraduate Education, also participates in the Summer Bridge
Program, leading students in a month-long intensive study prior
to the beginning of the academic term. And he founded Dawg Daze,
a four-day celebration at the start of the school year that provides
a sense of UW spirit and tradition.
He’s always open
to new learning opportunities. When an undergraduate
wanted to conduct the first Relay for Life—an American Cancer
Society fundraiser—at the UW, Chernicoff was the first person
she talked to.
“He offered to
supervise any students wishing to have their volunteer work become
an internship,” the student recalls. “He attended almost
every meeting that first year, offering advice and support. He helped
transform my volunteer work into part of my education.”
Awards and Honors
The School of
Art’s Ceramics Program, the Department of
Mathematics, and the Washington NASA Space Grant
Program received the 2005 Brotman Award for Instructional
Excellence. The award recognizes collaboration within and among
UW departments, programs, and groups that improves the quality of
Jane K. Brown, professor of Germanics, has received
the distinguished prize of the German Alexander von Humboldt Foundation
for excellence in Germanics scholarship, an award for lifetime research.
J. Michael Brown,
professor of earth and space sciences, was named a Fellow of the
American Physical Society.
Eric S. Cheney,
professor emeritus of earth and space sciences, received the Northwest
Mining Association’s T. Lyle Taylor Starter’s Award.
assistant professor of chemistry, was awarded the 2004
Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship.
professor of chemistry, received an honorary doctorate from Chiang
Mai University, Thailand.
professor of history, was named Chiang Ching Kuo Distinguished Fellow
for 2005-2006 by the Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation
for International Scholarly Exchange.
professor of geography, has received a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship
assistant professor of chemistry, was awarded the 2005 Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar
Dennis L. Hartmann,
professor and chair of atmospheric sciences, received
the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Distinguished
Public Service Medal, NASA’s highest award for non-employees
emeritus professor of physics, has won the Distinguished Service
Award from the American Physical Society Division of Nuclear Physics
and was awarded the degree of Doctor rer. nat. honoris causa by
Peter V. Hobbs,
professor of atmospheric sciences, has been elected an
honorary member of the American Meteorological Society and has received,
with Art Rangno, UW atmospheric sciences research
scientist, the UAE Prize for Excellence in Weather Modification
from the World Meteorological Organization.
professor of anthropology, is president of the Society of Ethnobiology
for a two-year term.
professor of political science and chair of French and Italian Studies,
was recently elected chair of the European Union Studies Association.
research assistant professor of earth and space sciences, received
the Nakaya Medal for Early-career Scientists in Glaciology from
the City of Kaga and the Japanese Society of Snow and Ice.
professor of earth and space sciences and director of the Quaternary
Research Center, was recognized by the American Water Resources
Association Washington Chapter for his book, Restoration of
Puget Sound Rivers.
professor of mathematics, received the Pacific Institute for Mathematical
Sciences’ Education Prize for 2005 for “significant
contribution to education in the mathematical sciences.”
Stephen C. Porter,
professor emeritus of earth and space sciences, received the American
Quaternary Association’s Distinguished Career Award and the
Geological Society of America’s Kirk Bryan Award for Research
professor of statistics and sociology, and director of the Center
for Statistics and the Social Sciences, was the most cited mathematician
in the world for 1995-2005, according to the Institute for Scientific
a tribute to his influence in the field and to the esteem of his
professor of atmospheric sciences and oceanography, was the 2005
Bernard Haurwitz Lecturer of the American Meteorological Society.
professor of anthropology, received a PASS Award (Prevention for
a Safer Society) from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency
for her book, Total Confinement: Madness and Reason in the Maximum
professor of English, has received a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship
associate professor of history, received the Liberty Legacy Foundation
Award from the Organization of American Historians for his recent
book, Black is a Country: Race and the Unfinished Struggle for
professor of anthropology, is president-elect of the Evolutionary
Anthropology Society, a new section of the American Anthropological
professor of history, has been named the Samuel and
Althea Stroum Chair in Jewish Studies.
Peter D. Ward,
professor of biology and earth and space sciences, was recognized
for his book, Gorgon: Paleontology, Obsession, and the Greatest
Catastrophe in Earth’s History, by Library Journal’s
Best Sci-Tech Books 2004.
professor of dance and acting director of the Dance Program, has
been awarded a Donald E. Petersen Endowed Professorship.
professor of drama, won the Outstanding Academic Title award from
the American Library Association’s Choice magazine
for his book, The Federal Theatre Project.
professor of chemistry, has received the Baekeland Award from the
American Chemical Society’s North Jersey Section.
[Summer 2005 - Table of Contents]