Center for Teaching and Learning

2021 Teaching Award recipients

The Distinguished Teaching Award, Distinguished Teaching Award for Innovation with Technology, Excellence in Teaching Award, and James D. Clowes Award for the Advancement of Learning Communities are among the highest teaching recognitions at the University of Washington. The Center for Teaching and Learning joins the rest of UW in congratulating the following individuals for their stellar, resourceful, and learned work with students. We are honored to have such wonderful instructors among us.

Distinguished Teaching Award recipients

Wendy E. Barrington, Associate Professor, Child, Family & Population Health Nursing, School of Nursing; Epidemiology, School of Public HealthWendy E. Barrington
Associate Professor
Child, Family & Population Health Nursing
School of Nursing;
School of Public Health

With rich experience as an epidemiologist and educator, Wendy takes students beyond the classroom for experiential learning opportunities — such as a visit she organized to a Tent City Collective, where students could hear directly from people experiencing homelessness and gain hands-on clinical experience. Throughout the pandemic, Wendy has adjusted her teaching style to meet her students’ needs as she continues to promote the translation of research into public-health practice for communities.

Andrea Carroll, Associate Teaching Professor, Chemistry, College of Arts & SciencesAndrea Carroll
Associate Teaching Professor
College of Arts & Sciences

Whether developing an individual course or collaborating on large-scale curriculum reform for her department, Andrea brings “energy, clarity of vision and an unfailing focus on the student experience.” Students routinely praise Andrea’s emphasis on what they need to know and her attention to detail. Throughout the pandemic, her excellent management and planning for general chemistry labs allowed the department to offer the lab-based courses that are critical stepping stones for students pursuing STEM degrees.

Weili Ge, Professor Accounting, Michael G. Foster School of BusinessWeili Ge
Michael G. Foster School of Business

Each year, Weili influences hundreds of faculty across the nation through her presentations at the American Accounting Association’s New Faculty Consortium. She teaches using real-world cases to demonstrate relevance, and her passion for accounting is contagious. Known for being approachable, responsive and encouraging, she cares deeply about the lives of her individual students. One student noted that Weili’s “power to induce comfort, extend embrace and suspend judgment … can only be derived authentically and without incentive.”

Theodore Myhre, Teaching Professor, School of LawTheodore Myhre
Teaching Professor
School of Law

In his Introduction to American Law class, Theo brings the law to life by transfixing his students’ attention on pivotal cases that demonstrate the impact they can make. Outside of class, students flock to his discussion sessions and crowd his office door. He encourages students to question and teaches them to be better people and advocates. One student wrote, “His respect and consideration for intersectional identities and diverse experiences shone through both his syllabus and classroom facilitation.”

Sarah Zaman, Clinical Assistant Professor, Pediatrics, School of MedicineSarah Zaman
Clinical Assistant Professor
School of Medicine

Sarah is the type of instructor who begins as a student’s teacher, then becomes a mentor and eventually a treasured friend, one of her students wrote. Her seamless integration of evidence-based teaching into her daily practice inspires her students to become more thoughtful and rigorous physicians — and skilled and enthusiastic teachers. “When I’m around her,” one student says, “I’m inspired to learn, to seek out knowledge, to aggressively and unapologetically pursue clinical growth.”

Distinguished Teaching Award for Innovation with Technology recipient

Nadya Peek, Assistant Professor, Human Centered Design & Engineering, College of EngineeringNadya Peek
Assistant Professor
Human Centered Design & Engineering
College of Engineering

Nadya’s digital fabrication course relies on in-person instruction in a makerspace where students can access 3D printers. When the pandemic made that impossible, Nadya developed a new curriculum that helped students master computer-aided design and 3D printing skills from home. Students have described Nadya’s courses as “the most demanding and most rewarding class they’ve taken,” a colleague wrote. “She has shown remarkable ability to project empathy for student challenges while also encouraging them to work independently and surpass their own expectations.”

Excellence in Teaching Award recipients

Sarah Brucia Breitenfeld, Doctoral Candidate Classics, College of Arts & SciencesSarah Brucia Breitenfeld
Doctoral Candidate
College of Arts & Sciences

After taking one of Sarah’s classes, many students sign up for more — and some even decide to major or minor in classics. Whether they’re teaching etymology or mythology, Sarah brings material to life with historical and cultural context — for example, concluding each Latin class with a mini-lecture on daily life in Rome. One of their fellow teaching graduate students writes, “I have been inspired by Sarah’s incredible work ethic and powerful ability to curate a course in a resoundingly effective way.”

Devon Geary, Doctoral Candidate, Communication, College of Arts & SciencesDevon Geary
Doctoral Candidate
College of Arts & Sciences

Clear and well organized lectures, videos, pop culture examples and lively small-group discussions are just some of the ways Devon engages her students — an approach that makes her courses learning and growing experiences for all. She creates a safe, supportive community environment in which she listens to students and encourages them to share their stories with each other. A colleague from another university wrote, “She is passionate about teaching and takes the responsibility of teaching and mentoring students seriously.”

James D. Clowes Award for the Advancement of Learning Communities recipient

Michelle Habell-Pallán, Professor, Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies, College of Arts & SciencesMichelle Habell-Pallán
Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies
College of Arts & Sciences

With her clear passion for community and dynamic learning, Michelle champions finding innovative ways to attract and make space for students of color and nontraditional students so that they can thrive in their own scholarship, teaching, research and mentoring. One student wrote that Michelle “inspired me to learn more about my Mexican heritage and see how I can work with my community to practice resiliency against the oppressions that we as Latinas face in society and even in our own communities.”