The UCI School of Humanities has awarded five academics Excellence in Teaching Awards. Nominated by faculty and students, recipients are honored for the diverse ways in which they advance the education of UCI students.
Larisa Castillo, Associate Professor of Teaching and Director of Educational Development, won the Educational Innovation and Development award. As Director of Educational Development, she oversees the educational training of graduate students in the School of Humanities and directs the Humanities Out There program. Her nominees highlighted her commitment to mentorship, her investment in contemplative pedagogies that prioritize holistic student well-being, and the development of anti-racism workshops and pedagogies.
Rachael Collins, a lecturer in the English Department’s composition program and director of the 39C writing course, won Unit 18’s Excellence in Teaching Award. Her faculty nominees praised her “substantial , engaging and student-centered”. The students commented that they grew as writers and people under his tutelage.
Zina Giannopoulou, associate professor of classics, won the Senate Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award. Nominators praised her vision, passion and dedication. Over the past few years, she has taught some of the most successful courses in the School of Humanities – including many of the major lectures that are quickly put on the waiting list due to student demand – while designing new courses that illuminate new angles of understanding ancient literature and its reception in contemporary cinema and fiction.
Jerry Won Lee, Associate Professor of English and Director of the Global Languages and Communication Program, won the SOH Climate Council Award for Diversity, Inclusion and Equity. Lee was the principal faculty assistant in building the UCI School of Humanities Climate Council. His expertise in using campus institutional data has helped to prioritize the energy and creativity of the Climate Council.
Annie McClanahan, Associate Professor of English, received the SOH Mentoring Excellence Award. Proponents praised McClanahan’s tireless mentorship of graduate students in her roles as director of graduate studies in the Department of English and founder and facilitator of the Black Studies Cohort. His research is timely, answering questions of debt, labor, gig labor, and essential labor as they relate to literature and the creation of new genres of textual production.
“I am incredibly proud of these scholars who have been recognized by their peers and students for their outstanding teaching, mentorship and educational innovation,” said Tyrus Miller, Dean of the UCI School of Humanities. “Their outstanding commitment is inspiring.”