Undergraduate Academic Affairs

2010 Distinguished Teaching Awards

2010 Distinguished Teaching Awards

Congratulations to the 2010 Distinguished Teaching Awardees, Excellence in Teaching Awardees, and S. Sterling Munro Public Service Awardee!

Distinguished Teaching Awardees

Scott Alan Hauck, Professor
Electrical Engineering, College of Engineering
Scott Hauck has a natural talent in the classroom to enhance the student experience. He cares deeply about how his students are learning and continuously works to improve his teaching style through the incorporation of new instructional techniques and peer evaluations. As a result, he published what he has learned and how these teaching methods, such as the application of active learning, can contribute to a student’s learning process. Clearly, his dedication, commitment and passion for students is a strong indication of character as an educator. In addition to his teaching commitment, Hauck is a mentor to junior faculty, even holding weekly lunch meetings with a group of untenured faculty where they discuss various topics including funding, teaching, lab space, student concerns, and time management.

Joy Williamson-Lott, Associate Professor
Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, College of Education
Joy Williamson-Lott, eager to continuously challenge her students as they become leaders in society, enthusiastically embraced a course she inherited and whose prior instructor was a “hard act to follow.” She has continued to maintain large classroom enrollment and impressive evaluations while making the course her own. In addition, Williamson-Lott has contributed greatly to the College’s Teacher Education program particularly to the UW Secondary Teacher Education Program (STEP) during a time of transition though she had never taught a teacher preparation course prior. Dr. Williamson-Lott speaks to her students as if they were fellow scholars; sitting among them, engaging them, and drawing out their ideas. In turn, her students experience a kind of intellectual stimulation that surpasses most other classroom experiences at the University.

Cuong Vu, Assistant Professor
Music, College of Arts and Sciences
Cuong Vu joined the School of Music faculty in fall 2007 as assistant professor of jazz studies. Widely recognized by jazz critics as a leader of a new generation of innovative musicians, Vu has lent his trumpet-playing talents to a diverse range of artists. Born in Vietnam, he emigrated to Seattle at age six and began playing the trumpet at age 11. Vu has released four recordings and is the recipient of numerous music awards and honors. Student nominations call him “the symbol of achievement and excellence at the University of Washington.” Instructing, inspiring, and pushing students to their full potential, Vu is an integral part of a holistic education at the University of Washington. Vu has transformed the Jazz Studies program and is an invaluable asset to the students of UW and the jazz scene in Seattle as a whole.

Anu Taranath, Senior Lecturer
English, College of Arts and Sciences
Dr. Anu Taranath, a senior lecturer in English who has designed 27 new course curriculum on multicultural & postcolonial literatures and culture, also teaches in Women’s Studies, Comparative History of Ideas, Honors and has led 4 study-abroad to Bangalore, India entitled “Explorations in Social Justice and Globalization.” She has been a facilitator and co-facilitator for numerous faculty workshops held by the Center for Curriculum Transformation on global learning goals, diversity in the classroom, pedagogy and student learning and has been a strong faculty voice for each of the last three UW Common Books. She has been named by the Seattle Weekly as one of the outstanding teachers at the UW and consistently has course evaluations in the 4.7-5.0 with CEI of 7-9! She brings forth a vociferous passion in her work and consequently motivates students to strive to do their best. Pushing herself to be a better teacher, she brings new insight and encourages growth in students’ development as critical learners. Taranath also mentors students, many of whom are first generation college students or otherwise institutionally disadvantaged. Such a genuine investment by a faculty member in the lives of students is a tremendous investment in the cultivation of a vibrant next generation of scholars.

Scott Freeman, Lecturer
Biology, College of Arts and Sciences
Dr. Freeman has a passion not only for teaching but for student learning. His mantra is show me the evidence that what you are doing in class is resulting in better student learning – “show me the data” is his retort when discussing new active learning techniques for the classroom. He is dedicated to ALL students in his course learning, not just the top 25%, and incorporates in-class small group learning activities, 4-5 clicker questions each day, weekly written home-works and other activities to give students the practice they need to master the material. When Biology decided to remove all prerequisites for Biology 180 and open it up to the maximal class size (700), Scott volunteered to design and teach the course himself. To make the class less threatening and impersonal, Scott made it a point to learn over 200 names of students in his class and called on them to contribute to the discussion. He offered extensive office hours and review sessions three times a week. This is also how he had been teaching Biology 180 for the past 5 years but with only 300 students. His course evaluations are always in the 4.8 to 4.9 range and with the 700 person course they jumped to 5.0 with a Challenge and Engagement Index (CEI) of 9 (the highest indicator of academic rigor)! Outside the classroom, Scott is the author of a comprehensive Biology text that is in its 4th edition. He is also an active member of the Biology Education Research Group and the author of 3 science education research articles, one of them published in Science.


Excellence in Teaching Award

Monique Lacoste
Communication, College of Arts and Sciences
Monique Lacoste has been described by her students as accessible, engaging, and thoughtful. During her time in the Department of Communication, Lacoste has been able to transform her teaching style that encourages thought‐provoking discussion. She takes the time to include relevant articles and media clips that touch on the day’s topic in order to provoke meaningful dialogue between her and her students. Over time, she has been asked to teach a department ‐record of six Instructor of Record courses and two 400‐level courses.

Elizabeth “Beth” Wheat
Biology, College of Arts and Sciences
Elizabeth Wheat can be viewed extraordinary in more ways than one. Her departmental contributions are equally impressive just as her service to the broader Seattle community. She has singlehandedly developed and implemented an educational program rooted in sustainable agriculture. This 3‐credit course in urban farming uses the outdoors as an active, hands‐on learning experience. Students learn the importance of environmental sustainability and make connections between food production to healthy communities and much more.


S. Sterling Munro Public Service Teaching Award

Sharon Dobie, Professor
Family Medicine, School of Medicine
Dr. Dobie has been the faculty advisor for the Community Health Advancement Program (CHAP) since 1989 and has expanded the program from two initial projects to the current eight programs. CHAP sponsors student‐initiated and directed, extracurricular community direct service projects, educational programs, and seminar series that address the health needs of underserved communities. Over 4,000 health care students and medical professionals have participated in CHAP projects since Dr. Dobie took leadership, offering free health and educational programs to more than 5,000 community members through the service. The strength of the program lies not just in the opportunity for students to participate in public service; the strength lies in the training of students to be community leaders. Dr. Dobie treats each CHAP event as an opportunity to extend training from the classroom to the community. Each question, each interaction becomes a teachable moment. Dr. Dobie’s skill at mentoring students elevates the program to its state of excellence. CHAP’s significant volunteer effort has been acknowledged nationally by the Points of Light recognition in 2000 and as a component that helped to earn the “Outstanding Community Service Award” by the American Academy of Medical Colleges (AAMC), which was awarded to the University of Washington in 2002.

Dr. Dobie’s dedication to students and community is further demonstrated by her involvement in the Underserved Pathway (UP) as one of its founders and its current director. A core mission of UP is to instill and nurture in students the passion to work where need exists, such as homeless, incarcerated, and immigrant populations. In its 4th year and graduating its first class of students in 2009, UP provides support through mentorship, academic and experiential activities, service learning, and advising. Seventy five students are currently enrolled in UP.