UW School of Social Work E-news
April 2009  |  Return to issue home

Aisenberg, Laakso to Receive Distinguished Teaching Award

Gino Aisenberg

Dr. Gino Aisenberg
According to Dean Uehara, “the Distinguished Teaching Award is a highly competitive honor bestowed on only a handful of UW teachers who demonstrate exceptional mastery of their subject matter, intellectual rigor and a passion for teaching. Gino perfectly embodies these qualities. He is an accomplished scholar and a gifted teacher who stretches his students’ minds and brings a brilliant synthesis of theory and multicultural experience to the practice classroom. He is a committed mentor, a support and lifeline to students from very diverse backgrounds. And he is an inveterate community builder who gives his time most generously to the School, the University, and the community--as recognized by his earning the University of Washington’s Health Sciences Martin Luther King Jr. [Volunteer Recognition Award in 2008].”

Dr. Aisenberg has also received a Volunteer Recognition Award in 2008, the School of Social Work Outstanding Practicum Instructor Award in 2007, and the University of Washington Office of Minority Affairs Diversity Award for Community Building in 2006.

Janice Laakso

Dr. Janice Laakso
Janice Laakso, associate professor in the Social Work Program at the University of Washington Tacoma, has been honored with the 2008-09 UW Tacoma Distinguished Teaching Award.  Dr. Laakso's passion for social justice and excellence in teaching are well known by her students and peers alike. The selection committee noted “her leadership and sustained excellence in designing and delivering a meaningful curriculum, her success in preparing students for their careers and her overall impact on their lives, her focus on teaching advocacy skills that empower students to advance social justice, and her ongoing development as a teacher, including international experience that has informed her pedagogy.” 

The applied-learning legislative advocacy group project in one of her courses is designed to expose students to contemporary social policy and prepare them for their advocacy at the legislature to influence new policy directions. For five consecutive years Dr. Laakso's students have won a national social work competition, sponsored by the Council for Social Work Education, entitled "Influencing State Policy.” 

All of this year's award winners will be honored at a special University-wide Recognition Ceremony, scheduled for 3:30-4:30 p.m. Thursday, June 11, in Meany Hall, with a reception to follow in the foyer. The ceremony is free and open to the public.

April 2009  |  Return to issue home