American Cultures Excellence in Teaching Award


The ‘AC Teaching Award’ is intended to recognize individual faculty’s 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 economic 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 members of the Academic Senate, 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.


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.

Nomination 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). 

 Please submit your nomination, using this Google form by March 6th at 5 pm (deadline extended from February 28th).

 After reviewing the nominations from Stage One, the AC Teaching Award Committee will select nominees for further consideration. Nominating departments will be notified by March 11th at 5 pm.

Stage Two

If selected for the second stage, the following must be submitted by April 5th at 5 pm.


  • Nominating Letter: No more than 2000 words, from the department chair. 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.

  • A Reflective statement by the candidate of teaching goals, objectives, and experiences, not to exceed 1,000 words.


You may also submit any supporting materials that demonstrate the faculty’s impact within the selection criteria should be provided. Examples of supporting materials include:

  • Class Materials which might include syllabi, 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 colleagues

  • Teaching evaluations (limited to a three year period)