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Teaching Excellence Awardees

We will have more information about the Awardees after the Annual Meeting and Award Luncheon.  Previous year's Awardees are Here and the Nomination form is Here

2024 Laureates

Sophia Azeb, Department of Critical Race and Ethnic Studies, UC Santa Cruz

“Professor Azeb is brilliant. She brings to the classroom such an honest connection to what it means to be a person. I don’t feel intimidated by her presence, she welcomes everyone and every thought. She is there to teach us how to live in relation to each other. Every single thing she says is inspiring and extremely thought out. She is open and real, and this invites a lot of comfort in the classroom. She responds to everyone in the class honestly and with grace and patience, gently guiding us in the right direction. Her strength is awe-inspiring, I do not know how she does it. Everyone I have met in her classes is floored by her existence. I could learn from her forever.”

Olivia Bailey, Department of Philosophy, UC Berkeley (Hasenkamp Award)

“When instructions began, it did not take long for me to see why Dr. Bailey is so loved… As a result of the atmosphere that Dr. Bailey created in the classroom, Moral Psychology turned out to be the most interactive undergraduate (non-seminar) course I took. I got to hear so many of my classmates’ diverse opinions on issues. These opinions were not only shared during lectures but also after lectures… However, the main spirited talks happened during her office hours, which were always so filled with enthusiastic students that sometimes we ran out of seats… I can honestly say that because of Dr. Bailey’s friendly and down-to-earth demeanor, I learned as much from my classmates as I did from my professor. I looked forward to writing my term papers, which often provided me with an opportunity to respond to a classmate’s remark or objection. In my opinion, the magic of Dr. Bailey as a teacher is the respect she shows her students; she effectively conveys that she values your voice as a philosopher and takes your opinion seriously. This respect was particularly conveyed when she urged us to complete the evaluation for her course.”

 Hadar Dancig-Rosenberg, Legal Studies, UC Berkeley

“Hadar is truly the most amazing professor I have ever had. She facilitated class discussions about difficult and potentially triggering topics in a way that made me feel respected, heard and cared for. She encouraged all of her students to dig deeper and reevaluate their preconceived notions about crime, rehabilitation, and the purpose and functions of the legal system… Berkeley has no shortage of world-class professors, and Hadar is truly the best of the best.

Erik Ellis, Department of Writing and Rhetoric Studies, Stanford

According to his student, Erik Ellis transformed the standard writing curriculum into exhilarating assignments, encouraging students to discard rigid essay formats and overly complex language and embrace ambiguity and simplicity in a way that allows for critical thinking and exploration. Rather than presenting pre-determined arguments, Dr. Ellis’s approach makes writing a tool for discovery that reaches more nuanced conclusions. Dr. Elli’s student credits their professor for revolutionizing their understanding of writing. They endorse him for his transformative approach to teaching writing, ending the nomination essay with “Thank you, Erik!”

Peter Minowitz, Department of Political Science, Santa Clara University

“Dr. Minowitz has been an excellent mentor and friend to me during the two and a half years I have known him. His senior seminar about Friedrich Nietzsche was my favorite class I have ever taken, and he was always available to consult about anything related to political philosophy. He explained Friedrich Nietzsche’s thought in remarkable clarity and detail while making his lectures lighthearted enough to keep every student engaged... My underclassman friends who took Dr. Minowitz’s Introduction to Political Philosophy class remarked how much their writing improved under his instruction and how he opened their eyes to the depth of thinkers like Plato, Hobbes, and Machiavelli. My fellow upperclassmen who took his Nietzsche seminar fondly remember his lively sense of humor, brilliance as a scholar, and the amazing ease with which he communicates complex topics to students.”

Giovanni Peri, Department of Economics, UC Davis

According to his student, Dr. Giovanni Peri is an outstanding professor, researcher, mentor, and role model who combines professionalism and organization with a flexible approach, allowing students to pursue their research interests while he provides invaluable guidance. Dr. Peri maintains high standards but is also caring, offering support through office hours and email. He assisted his student with their research and graduate school applications, and his kindness and compassion contributed enormously to his success. Dr. Peri’s dedication and enthusiasm for his student’s work inspired them to pursue a career in a related field.

Wendy Salkin, Department of Philosophy, Stanford

“Prof. Salkin always managed to make dense analytic philosophy concepts feel manageable and compelling. Her curriculum combined traditional ideas from philosophy with contemporary literature on race and prisons in sociology and political theory… Prof. Salkin always worked through arguments with us rather than merely presenting them to us, and her course powerfully shaped my current academic and professional trajectory…Prof. Salkin was the best advisor I could have possibly asked for. Even when I felt lost in my own writing process, Prof. Salkin always saw the best version of my arguments and pushed me to be the most precise and rigorous version of myself.”

Nasser Zakariya, Rhetoric Department, UC Berkeley

“Professor Zakariya is one of the most engaging lecturers I have ever encountered… It really feels like he is inviting students to stand with him as scholars in a true discussion. He also holds students accountable to classroom contribution in ways that are accessible to them. It feels as if he has tried every resource to create a sort of democratized space of learning and collaboration… I always felt like each day of class opened a new window into my own inquiry of the world… He teaches with contagious enthusiasm and urgency that leaves students continuing discussions outside of the classroom… He is a very humane teacher. His compassion and vested interest in the learning of each individual student is palpable… His humility is evident when he makes a self-deprecating joke that never fails to elicit some laughter in the class… This curiosity and warmth add to the classroom culture in a way that further encourages reflection, contribution, and collaboration. He is one of the best professors I ever had at the UC Berkeley.”

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