Best & Brightests  
 



UW AWARDS 2008 HOMEPAGE

UWEEK.ORG HOMEPAGE

DISTINGUISHED TEACHING AWARD
Ben Kerr, Biology
Gowri Shankar, Business Administration
Jaime Olavarria, Psychology
Jamie Walker, Ceramics
Julia Parrish, Aquatic and Fishery Sciences / Biology
Rebecca Aanerud, Women Studies
Richard Knuth, Education Administration

EXCELLENCE IN TEACHING AWARD
Fernanda Oyarzun & Chris Himes , Biology
Rachel Goldberg, English

DISTINGUISHED LIBRARIAN AWARD
Theresa Mudrock, UW Libraries

DISTINGUISHED STAFF AWARD
Hendrik Simons, Nuclear Physics Laboratory
Mona Pitre-Collins, Undergraduate Scholarship Office
Philip Mote, Climate Impacts Group
Robin Bennett, Medical Genetics
Sue Park, Facilities Services

DISTINGUISHED CONTRIBUTIONS TO LIFELONG LEARNING AWARD
John Schaufelberger, Construction Management

OUTSTANDING PUBLIC SERVICE AWARD
Nancy Amidei, Social Work

JAMES D. CLOWES AWARD FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF LEARNING COMMUNITIES
Lance Bennett, Political Science / Communication

S. STERLING MUNRO PUBLIC SERVICE TEACHING AWARD
Denise Wilson, Electrical Engineering

DAVID B. THORUD LEADERSHIP AWARD
Judy Mahoney, College of Engineering
Kathleen Woodward, Simpson Center for the Humanities

MARSHA L. LANDOLT DISTINGUISHED GRADUATE MENTOR AWARD
Tom Quinn, Aquatic and Fishery Sciences

ALUMNUS SUMMA LAUDE DIGNATA
Beverly Cleary, Children's Author

ALUMNI ASSOCIATION DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD
Robb Weller, Television Producer and Host

PRESIDENT'S MEDAL
June Shujun Peng and Royce Anderson




Gowri Shankar


The road to academia for Gowri Shankar, associate professor in the Business Administration Program, has been long and winding, taking him around the world and from the boardroom to the classroom — a journey that makes him the unanimous choice for the UW Bothell's 2008 Distinguished Teaching Award.

Shankar's interest in teaching was first sparked by an invitation to teach a course on "export marketing" at Bangalore University in 1983, an invitation he originally declined. Convinced by the program dean that his experiences as a finance manager at a textile exporting firm could bring a practical perspective to the class, Shankar reluctantly, and after some desperate preparation, taught the course by making connections between the textbook material and the marketing issues he faced daily at his firm. To his surprise, the course was very well received, piquing his interest and leading him to earn a doctorate and embark on an academic career.

Taking lessons from this first classroom experience, Shankar created a distinct teaching style that unites "real world" issues with traditional textbook knowledge, creating lifelong learners in his students. Says Shankar, "For learning to be effective and to have a long-term impact, I believe that students need to constantly see the connection between what they learn every day, the 'big picture' that the course tries to provide on a particular subject and how this relates to what is happening in the 'real world' where most of them will find jobs and careers…I approach teaching as a learning experience for my students and myself, an experience that extends beyond the classroom and continues for years after the students leave my classes."

Shankar's educational philosophy also manifests itself in his willingness to mentor his students throughout their careers at UW Bothell and beyond. Not only does he recommend career paths and professional certification opportunities, he supports these pursuits through sponsorships and other forms of assistance. In fact, his commitment to supporting lifelong success in his students and his teaching abilities have twice earned him the honor of faculty speaker at the UW Bothell MBA commencement celebrations.

This commitment to education is best exemplified through his respect and admiration for his students. Says Shankar, "At the end of a course, students frequently ask me why I teach instead of 'enriching' myself in the 'real world' using all of the knowledge and skills I have just taught them. My answer has always been the same: I teach because I can't think of anything else that I would enjoy so much. I enjoy the experience of watching eyes light up when a student understands a concept or solves a problem, the experience of moderating a class discussion where students passionately discuss the ethics and legality of something as arcane as revenue recognition principles, and the satisfaction of watching students, especially those who seem unsure of themselves when they enter, develop into knowledgeable and confident graduates."

Chancellor Kenyon S. Chan and the entire UW Bothell community applaud Shankar's commitment to education and are proud to have him represent the UW Bothell as its 2008 Distinguished Teaching Award recipient. Shankar receives this honor for his achievements in the classroom and for developing a rigorous curriculum in finance and accounting. He has taught nine different courses at UW Bothell and had a pivotal role in designing the curriculum for the new accounting option which will be offered for the first time in Autumn 2008. Shankar serves on several program and University committees, including the General Faculty Organization's Executive Council. Prior to UW Bothell, Shankar taught at the State University of New York, Syracuse University and Cornell University.