The English department commends Frances McCue and Maya Sonenberg, finalists for this year's UW Distinguished Teaching Award. The Distinguished Teaching Award requires nomination by one’s students. All teachers selected as finalists exemplify mastery of their subject, innovative course design, are inspirational guides to students’ independent thinking, and work as effective mentors of colleagues and teaching assistants. McCue and Sonenberg stand out as superlative teachers in a department and college that teach very well. Because Distinguished Teaching Awards start with the appreciation of one’s students, they are meaningful markers of the benefit teachers confer on those we are here to serve.
Winners of the English Department Faculty Teaching Award for the 2016-17 academic year are Kimberlee Gillis-Bridges, Charles LaPorte, and Ryan Helterbrand. All three of these exceptional teachers are student favorites. Gillis-Bridges is well-known for her knack for connecting personally with students and inspiring them to produce superior academic work (see Husky 100 awardee Zoe Ness share credit with Gillis-Bridges here). LaPorte regularly draws standing ovations on the last days of his lectures for his seems-so-easy prowess making complicated subjects accessible to undergraduates. Helterbrand’s students praise his flair for pitching literature and critical theory as applicable to the challenges and possibilities of their everyday lives and have previously nominated him for the UW's Excellence in Teaching and Distinguished Teaching awards.
Congratulation to this cadre of fabulous teachers!