A Community of Educational Excellence
The University of Oregon is made up of a community of excellent educators who prepare students for success. The Office of the Provost acknowledges some of these community members who bring their unique backgrounds into the classroom and excel in research, leadership, and inclusive teaching.
"In my teaching I strive to nurture a sense of connection – to one another and the natural world. In our transient, plugged-in culture, many have lost that vital link to the natural world that sustains us physically, mentally, and spiritually. I believe that to build a personal connection to where we live, we have to get out and explore – meet the flora, fauna, and landscapes first-hand. We must learn how to quiet our minds and be attentive to the small details that signify relationships in the complex ecosystems where we live. This real sense of place nurtures a sense of belonging, which leads to a sense of responsibility to steward and care for our place, our home. I also seek to create ownership in the learning process – to inspire curiosity and spark that inner fire so students become active, self-directed learners. I’m fortunate to do this work in collaboration with Peg Boulay, who co-directs the Environmental Leadership Program with me, and who shares my passion for engaging students in meaningful projects that address environmental and social justice issues in our community.”
"As an Indigenous educator, I am committed to preparing the next generation of Indigenous educators that will serve Indigenous youth. I’m also committed to helping all educators understand they have a responsibility to dismantle systems that harm Indigenous youth and work toward a more just future in which Indigenous peoples and homelands thrive. I hope the students I work with feel seen and valued. I hope they reflect on the relative they want to be and the Elder and ancestor they want to become. I hope they learn to lean into their unique gifts, roles, and responsibilities as changemakers, because we need diverse and creative approaches to challenging and transforming systems of education. I also hope they recognize the importance of joy and community in sustaining their commitments to justice."
"I’ve been a Physics professor at the University of Oregon since 2006. My research focuses on biophysics, especially the structure and dynamics of the gut microbiome, which undergraduates, graduate students, and others in my lab explore using advanced optical microscopy. My teaching interests mostly involve courses for non-science majors, including a biophysics for non-scientists class (The Physics of Life) and The Physics of Energy and the Environment. I’m passionate about science communication, manifested in blog posts, talks, and other activities. I wrote and illustrated a popular-science book on biophysics, So Simple a Beginning: How Four Physical Principles Shape Our Living World (2022), which explores how understanding the connections between physics and biology enhances our appreciation of life’s wonders and also helps generate powerful biotechnological tools."
Benjamín J. Alemán
"Imagine the universe as a board game, and physics is the rulebook. As a physicist, I guide students to master these rules to unravel the mysteries of our world. My students save lives with heart surgery or MRI, create next-gen solar cells for cleaner energy, engineer microchips and cutting-edge materials for super-efficient cars and more powerful computers, while others push the boundaries of scientific discovery to new heights. Together, we unleash their potential to revolutionize the world!"
"My teaching and research interests include U.S. immigration and refugee policy, progressive and conservative social movements, political parties, civil liberties, and the American presidency. My latest book, Democracy’s Child (Oxford, 2022), focuses on the mobilization and significance of young people in contemporary struggles over climate change, racial justice, gun safety, LGBTQIA+ rights, immigrant inclusion, and other causes. For the past decade, I have directed the undergrad Wayne Morse Scholars program for UO students who are interested in law, public affairs, and service. In the classroom, I encourage active student engagement, lively discussions, fun simulations, and collaborative learning. Most of all, I hope my students develop a passion for thinking critically about democratic choices, for embracing conversations across our partisan and ideological divides, and for making their political voices heard."
"It is a privilege to have the chance to inspire excitement about science in our students. It is incredibly rewarding to give students the tools and opportunity to do good work and see them apply themselves and achieve excellence."
"Being an outstanding early career faculty member at UO requires a combination of qualities and skills. It requires a deep commitment to excellence in research, teaching, and service. Early career faculty members need to demonstrate a strong record of research productivity, as well as the potential to develop into leaders in their respective fields. Additionally, they must be dedicated to providing high-quality teaching that engages students and prepares them for their future careers."
"Teaching across social identity dimensions is a privilege I never take for granted."
"As an instructor teaching about the climate crisis and a practitioner working on climate action with businesses, I live in two worlds. The University of Oregon has created a space for me as an instructor to bring applied insights to the classroom. The students' enthusiasm to contribute to a better world inspires me every day, and many of my former students have gone on to leadership positions in sustainable business. That's an endorsement of our work: equipping students with the tools to translate their passion into real change."
"As an art historian, I hope my students will help make up an informed, visually literate citizenry, able to think carefully and wisely about the transnational world we live in and the art that illuminates it. I believe that it is essential to design courses that are relevant to students’ diverse interests and expertise, and that teaching students how to think, look, and research critically is just as important as promoting mastery of the course material itself. My ultimate goal as a teacher is to contribute to a shared vision that prioritizes experiment, creativity, and collaboration; that is open, adaptive, and inclusive in its approaches and activities; that advocates for student success; and that contributes to building a resilient and just world."
"Two principles shape how I approach designing my courses: equality and praxis. I teach film production and screenwriting, and I believe that all my students can learn the craft and skills of cinema. I introduce the concepts, provide time for each student to practice the ideas, and then create space for students to reflect on their experience. Since I employ multiple ways to engage with the content, different students with different strengths can have numerous entry points into the material."
"I enjoy my job most when I receive positive feedback from students who found my course to be both enjoyable and valuable. It is incredibly rewarding to know that I have made a positive impact on their learning experience and helped them to achieve their academic and career goals."