University Studies Awards

Recognizing excellence in teaching that includes integrated learning, transformative experiences, availability and personal interest in students, promotion of diversity and value of difference, and encouragement of self-expression and exploration.

The University Studies Council created these awards to recognize excellence in teaching that includes integrated learning, transformative experiences, availability and personal interest in students, promotion of diversity and value of difference, and encouragement of self-expression and exploration. This year the council has added the High School Senior Inquiry award, to round out the levels of Univeristy Studies with the Freshman Inquiry, Sophomore Inquiry, and Senior Capstones Awards. Recipients of these awards will receive an award plaque during an award ceremony to be held May 28, 2019. Nominations are encouraged from students, faculty, staff, and community partners. Self-nominations are welcomed.

 

2019 UNST in Excellence Award Winners!

Freshman Inquiry Excellence in Teaching Award: David Peterson del Mar, Ph.D.
Sophomore Inquiry Excellence in Teaching Award: Cassio de Oliveira, Ph.D
Capstone Excellence in Teaching Award: Zapoura Newton-Calvert, M.A.

 

Excellence in Teaching Senior Inquiry

Award Description

Senior Inquiry (SRINQ) is a year-long program offered in partnerships between Portland State University and selected area high schools. The program is designed to deliver interdisciplinary college-level courses at the high school, thereby preparing students for college coursework. Senior Inquiry is team-taught by high school and university faculty. Its courses are developed under the same award-winning general education guidelines as PSU's University Studies department and Freshman Inquiry program.


The SRINQ learning experience can be transformative. It challenges students to inquire, investigate and take intellectual risks. It requires skilled teams of instructors that are dedicated to the goals of University Studies. This award is given annually to a faculty team that has demonstrated excellence in teaching. Excellence in teaching means inspiring students to be curious about themselves and others, our histories, and the systems we live in, thus realizing one’s social responsibility. It requires facilitating the integration of ideas and experience, while equipping students with the skills, confidence, and curiosity to become lifelong learners.

This outstanding team of instructors is connected to the subject matter as well as the students. They build a meaningful relationship with their students and value this unique experience. They are passionate and creative instructors who craft a learning experience that demonstrates:

  • Integrated learning
  • Transformational experiences
  • Availability to, and personal interest in, students
  • Promotion of diversity and the value of difference
  • Encouragement of self-expression and exploration

This excellent team of instructors build an interdisciplinary pedagogy that inspires students to actively engage with their Senior Inquiry themes.
 

Nomination Criteria-Consider these Points:

  • Indications of application of coursework to future/other coursework/bigger issues (integrated learning and social responsibility) world-mindedness, experiential learning and community based learning.
  • Transformational learning -- discovery, light bulb moments, and mind changed or opened.
  • Availability and personal interest or concern of professor for student -- sense of connection, impact, empathy, mentoring.
  • Promoting diversity through interactive activities and group work -- recognizing the value of diversity/differences, navigation of difference.
  • Encouraging self-expression and engagement -- identity learning.
  • Challenge, controversy and critical thinking.
  • Passionate, creative, motivated, engaged, interested.
  • Stated improvement by students.
  • Eligible instructors must have taught Freshman Inquiry for the last two consecutive academic years and is still with the program.

 

Excellence in Teaching Freshmen Inquiry

Award Description

One award is given annually to a faculty member teaching Freshman Inquiry who has demonstrated Excellence in Teaching. Excellence in Teaching means inspiring students to be curious about themselves and others, our histories, and the systems we live in, thus realizing one’s social responsibility. It requires facilitating the integration of ideas and experience, while equipping students with the skills, confidence, and curiosity to become lifelong learners.

This outstanding instructor is connected to the subject matter as well as the students. They build a meaningful relationship with their students. They are a passionate, creative instructor who crafts a learning experience that demonstrates:

  • Integrated learning.
  • Transformational experiences.
  • Availability to, and personal interest in students.
  • Promotion of diversity and the value of difference.
  • Encouragement of self-expression and exploration.

This excellent instructor builds an interdisciplinary pedagogy that inspires students to actively engage with their Freshman Inquiry themes.

Nomination Criteria-Consider these Points:

  • Indications of application of coursework to future/other coursework/bigger issues (integrated learning and social responsibility) world-mindedness, experiential learning and community based learning.
  • Transformational learning -- discovery, light bulb moments, and mind changed or opened.
  • Availability and personal interest or concern of professor for student -- sense of connection, impact, empathy, mentoring.
  • Promoting diversity through interactive activities and group work -- recognizing the value of diversity/differences, navigation of difference.
  • Encouraging self-expression and engagement -- identity learning.
  • Challenge, controversy and critical thinking.
  • Passionate, creative, motivated, engaged, interested.
  • Stated improvement by students.
  • Eligible instructors must have taught Freshman Inquiry for the last two consecutive academic years and is still with the program.

 

Excellence in Teaching Sophomore Inquiry

Award Description

The Sophomore Inquiry learning experience provides an introduction to the UNST Clusters and acts as a bridge for many students into the University Studies Program. The SINQ program challenges students to inquire, investigate and take intellectual risks within three separate interdisciplinary fields of inquiry. It requires skilled instructors who are dedicated to both the mission and goals of the University Studies program. Teaching SINQ comes with specific challenges. In any classroom there may be students who are entirely new to this university, as well as continuing students. Instructors may teach students from all levels of the undergraduate experience from Freshman to Seniors.

This award is given annually to a faculty member teaching Sophomore Inquiry who has demonstrated excellence in teaching. Excellence in teaching Sophomores means inspiring students to be curious about themselves and others, our histories, and the systems we live in; thus realizing one’s social responsibility. It requires facilitating the integration of ideas and experience, while equipping students with the skills, confidence, and curiosity to become lifelong learners.

This outstanding instructor is connected to the subject matter as well as the students. They build a meaningful relationship with their students and demonstrate active engagement with the goals and mission of University Studies. They are a passionate, creative instructor who crafts a learning experience that demonstrates:

  • Integrated learning
  • Transformational experiences
  • Availability to, and personal interest in, students
  • Promotion of diversity and the value of difference
  • Encouragement of self-expression and exploration
    • An ability to work with graduate mentors, from any disciplinary background, in order to create meaningful and engaging mentor sessions
    • Success with helping students understand how SINQ is part of General Education at PSU

This excellent instructor builds an interdisciplinary pedagogy that inspires students to actively engage with their Cluster themes.

Nomination Criteria-Consider these Points:

  • This excellent instructor builds and interdisciplinary pedagogy that inspires students to actively engage with their Cluster themes
  • Indications of application of coursework to future/other coursework/bigger issues (integrated learning and social responsibility) world-mindedness, experiential learning and community based learning.
  • Transformational learning -- discovery, light bulb moments, and mind changed or opened.
  • Availability and personal interest or concern of professor for student -- sense of connection, impact, empathy, mentoring.
  • Promoting diversity through interactive activities and group work -- recognizing the value of diversity/differences, navigation of difference.
  • Encouraging self-expression and engagement -- identity learning.
  • Challenge, controversy and critical thinking.
  • Passionate, creative, motivated, engaged, interested.
  • Stated improvement by students.
  • Eligible instructors must have taught Sophomore Inquiry for the last two consecutive academic years (including this one).

 

Excellence in Teaching Senior Capstone

Award Description

Capstone courses build cooperative learning communities by engaging students in community-based learning activities that are significant to communities. Students bring together the knowledge, skills, and interests developed through all aspects of their education, to work on a meaningful community project of substance. Capstone courses are designed as relational educational experiences that facilitate transformational learning experiences for students. This frequently includes new insights about diverse communities, new skills to unpack power and privilege, a deeper awareness of one’s own privilege and a keener understanding of root causes to persistent social issues. In these courses students from a variety of majors and backgrounds work as a team, pooling resources, and collaborating with faculty and community leaders to understand and find solutions for issues that are important to them as literate and engaged citizens. This award is meant to recognize and celebrate excellence in teaching University Studies Capstone courses.

This outstanding instructor is connected to the subject matter as well as the students. They build a meaningful relationship with their students. They are a passionate, creative instructor who crafts a learning experience that demonstrates:

  • The opportunities for students to deepen their learning in each of the University Studies goals. Especially in the areas of social responsibility, diversity, equity and social justice.
  • Evidence of on-going reflective learning for students throughout the term.
  • Sustained relationships with one or more meaningful long-term community partnership that enhanced student learning through community engaged work.

Nomination Criteria-Consider these Points:

  • Capstone course(s) facilitates transformational learning experiences for majority of students.
  • Develops cooperative learning communities between students and community partners.
  • Creates learning environments that produce strong outcomes for community partners.
  • Promotes diversity, equity and social justice through recognizing the values of differences and working to build more equitable communities.
  • Demonstrates creative teaching strategies and reflective assignments as well as a passion for engaged learning and equity.
  • Eligible faculty member must have taught at least 30 credits of Capstone courses and is still currently teaching Capstones at Portland State University.

 

Previous Awards

2016 FreshmanTeaching Award is Chris Carey, Associate Professor Criminology & Criminal Justice.

2017 Freshman Inquiry Teaching Award, Alan MacCormack, Emeritus Professor '17

2017 Capstone Teaching Award, Deborah Rutt, Capstone Instructor

2018 Freshman Inquiry Excellence in Teaching Award: Sarah Wolf Newlands, MFA

2018 Sophomore Inquiry Excellence in Teaching Award: Daneen Bergland, MA

2018 Capstone Excellence in Teaching Award: Dr. Khalil Zonoozy