2016 Innovation in Teaching Award Recipients

The "Innovation in Teaching Award" recognizes faculty who have created original, cutting-edge teaching plans that enhance both the goals of the American Cultures requirement and students’ learning in the classroom.The applicant pool was highly competitive, so much so that awards were presented by the selection committee to two faculty.

Nadia Ellis - 
English 31AC, "Immigrant Inscriptions"

Nadia Ellis

Professor Ellis’ course, ‘Immigrant Inscriptions,’ aims to shatter monolithic ideas about race and culture in the US by presenting thorough and detailed readings of historical immigrant narratives, and actively compiling stories and first person accounts of the contemporary effectsmigration has on individual and community lives. Students report that this classenables them to hear immigrant narratives from family members for the first time, write about their own immigrant experience and discover how closely connected they actually are to the immigrant experience. These deep reckonings with questions of race, identity, and culture have the power to profoundly alter the way students understand themselves, how they move through campus and the wider world.

Justin Gomer - Ethnic Studies 10AC, "A History of Race and Ethnicity in Western North America’’

justin gomer

 Professor Gomer has taught Ethnic Studies 10AC through an interdisciplinary  account of significant moments in the historyof Califorinia. In this course, he  addresses the question of what exactly “American Culture” is by exhaustively  interrogating terms such as“America,” “culture,” “race,” and “ethnicity.”  Students are asked to think about connections across histories, across genre,  and beyond disciplines in pursuit of a nuanced view of the history of racial  formation in California. His course engages students to think about current issues and inject as many voices as possible to ensure that one voice does not dominate the discussion. Through an assemblage of primary texts, songs, poems, and quotes from artists and intellectuals of color, theoretical concepts and social histories are given strong and creative voice.

Caitlin Rosenthal - 
History 100AC, "History of American Capitalism"

caitlin rosenthal

Professor Rosenthal’s course, “History of American Capitalism,” charts the economic history of the U.S., from approximately1500 to the present, explores how economic institutions have structured, maintained, and disrupted inequality. For example, from the changing position of African-Americans and the expansion of slavery, through the rise of sharecropping to the beginnings of African-American businesses, the civil rights movement, and finally the 2008 mortgage crisis. This course attracts a breadth of students, including those from business, economics, and the sciences, many of whom are planning to start their own companies or to work in finance. A critical interrogation of the development and effect of American capitalism provides a vital foundation for students to think critically about how businesses have and continue to influence the social ordering of groups of Americans

Ronald T. Takaki Teaching Award

Professor Ronald Takaki, ‘didn’t just teach about race and ethnicity. He helped redefine it.’ Instrumental to the field of Ethnic Studies, and central in the creation of the AC curriculum, the family of Professor Takaki and The AC Center is extremely pleased to announce the inaugural Ronald T. Takaki Teaching Award.

Harvey Dong - Asian American & Asian Diaspora Studies

Harvey Dong A veteran of the student strike that catalyzed the development of the Ethnic  Studies Department and the Asian American Studies program, Harvey Dong  is awarded the Ronald T. Takaki Teaching Award for his creative and vital  contributions to the American Cultures (AC) curriculum over a sustained  period. His active role in helping to protect Asian immigrant labor and housing  rights as well as a series of community engaged scholarshipcourses, are  reflective of the ‘revolutionary tools’ that Professor Takaki viewed as essential in the creation of a socially just multiracial future.