American Cultures Excellence in Teaching Award


The ‘AC Teaching Award’ is intended to recognize individual faculty members ’ exemplary teaching in the American Cultures curriculum. Instructors are recognized for their inspiring and sustained commitment to creating a learning space able to hold the multiple challenges and opportunities that teaching AC content requires. Such challenges and opportunities include the multivocality of America’s diverse social fabric; the scales of geographic assemblage which support political and economical ways of being; the often contested nature of the political nation; the intersectional vectors which operate through everyday life (e.g., class, gender, sexuality, religious affiliation, ability, and legal status) and the reality that differences do, as they always have, provide a rough terrain of understanding for our abilities to listen and communicate with each other. Great creativity, ingenuity, and courage are required to meet this rich environment, providing inspiration and guidance for colleagues across the campus. The AC Teaching Award recognizes this signature effort.

Recipients will receive a $2,500 award and be honored at a public award ceremony and permanently indicated as a recipient of the AC Teaching Award on the American Cultures website. 


Faculty must have taught at least one AC course within the last two years. All Academic Senate members, non-Senate faculty, and primary instructors of an AC course are eligible for this award. Graduate Student Instructors who teach a discussion section of an AC course are not eligible. Previous recipients of the teaching award are also not eligible to receive the award again. For a list of previous recipients, please visit this page. If you have any questions, please visit our FAQ page or email


The award committee seeks candidates who encourage and empower critical and multivocal dialogue, foster a respectful learning environment, support student engagement, and demonstrate originality in the design of course content, Creativity in the development of assignments.

Application Process

Stage One

While the nomination needs to be approved and submitted by the department chair, vice-chair for instruction, or another appropriate official, the nomination itself may be initiated by any member of the campus community (faculty, students, and staff) as long as the nominee has not already received an American Cultures Teaching Award (past recipients).

The nomination process is now open for 2022-23. Please submit your nomination by February 17, 2023.

Stage Two

If selected for the second stage, the following materials must be emailed (americancultures@berkeley.eduor postmarked by the application deadline: The American Cultures Center
360 Stephens Hall MC#1050
Berkeley, CA 94720-1050

  1. Nominating Letter: No more than 2000 words from the faculty member's home department chair or appropriate departmental official. It will show, among other things, how the nominee clearly rises above otherwise good teaching in the department, how the nominee’s research and teaching work together, and how students respond to the teaching. 
  2. Reflective statement by the candidate of teaching goals, objectives, and experiences, not to exceed 1,000 words.
  3. AC course syllabus or syllabi
  4. Any supporting materials that demonstrate the faculty’s impact within the selection criteria should be provided, such as:
    • Class Materials, which might include handouts, tests, assignments, and so on. If these materials are available on a website or through bCourses, please provide the link.
    • Letters of support from students
    • Letters of support from faculty or staff colleagues
    • Teaching evaluations (limited to a three-year period)

If you have any questions about Stage Two application materials, please visit the FAQ page or email