Celebrating this year's Distinguished Teaching Awards winners

June 14, 2021

Dear Colleagues,

As the term winds down, we wanted to share some great news about some of our distinguished faculty members. The Office of the Provost is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2021 Distinguished Teaching Awards.

These awards – announced each spring term – are UO’s highest teaching honor, and they are bestowed on a select group of faculty members each year. They are honored for their excellence in teaching and pedagogy, with nominations coming from students, faculty, and staff. A committee of faculty, who are previous award winners, reviewed all the nominations and made recommendations to my office on the award winners.

The award winners, their approach, and their caring for students are central to our institution’s mission that is built on teaching excellence and academic leadership in our scholarly endeavors. And to do what these instructors have done under the trying circumstances of the pandemic only adds to their accomplishments on behalf of our students.

The awards are named for the late A.J. Ersted and for Thomas F. Herman. The Ersted awards honor career instructional or tenure-track faculty in their third, fourth, fifth, or sixth year of teaching at UO. The Herman awards are open to career or tenure-track faculty who have been at the university for seven or more years. This year’s recipients are:

Ersted Award for Distinguished TeachingCathy Wong, assistant professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry, College of Arts and Sciences

Herman Faculty Achievement AwardTheresa May, professor of Theatre Arts, College of Arts and Sciences

Herman Award for Specialized PedagogyErin Beck, associate professor of Political Science, College of Arts and Sciences

Herman Award for Specialized PedagogyMike Copperman, senior instructor II of English, College of Arts and Sciences

Herman Award for Specialized PedagogyCasey Shoop, senior instructor I of Literature, Clark Honors College

Herman Award for Outstanding Online EducationLeah Schneider, senior instructor I of Business, Lundquist College of Business

Typically, these awards are presented in surprise fashion, as we drop in on classrooms to inform the award winners while they are teaching. But, obviously, due to the pandemic, we have had to make some adjustments. We will hold a celebration to honor the award winners on campus in the fall when we can gather in person, and we will let you know when the date is set.

If you want to learn more about the UO’s awards and past recipients of how the UO honors its excellent faculty, visit the provost’s website.

Please join us in offering congratulations and celebrating our 2021 Distinguished Teaching Award winners.


Patrick Phillips
Provost Senior Vice President