Professors honored for their teaching innovation

Three UC Riverside professors have been recognized for their exemplary teaching in the 2019-20 academic year by the Academy of Distinguished Teachers.

Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education Jennifer Brown announced the winners Monday, May 4. Her office, in partnership with the Academy of Distinguished Teachers, sponsors the awards. 

Matthew Casselman is the 2019-20 recipient of the Innovative Teaching Award. His work as an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry demonstrates a remarkable combination of educational innovation, scholarship, and student-centered instruction.

According to the academy’s website, the Innovative Teaching Award honors "the transformation of classroom pedagogy and/or course curricula with original, inventive, and impactful approaches to instruction.”

The academy also awarded the Junior Excellence in Teaching, or JET, award to assistant professors Natasha McPherson in the Department of History and Kenichiro Tsukamoto in the Department of Anthropology. The JET award honors junior faculty members “whose early career record demonstrates the commitment and determination of an outstanding teacher while pursuing research excellence. Hallmarks of the successful nominees are vibrancy, passion, and devotion to the teaching mission, as well as the efficacy of results.”  

Jack Eichler, chair of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers and associate professor of teaching with the Department of Chemistry, said members of the academy were most impressed with how Casselman, McPherson, and Tsukamoto are making a profound impact on their students.

“Their commitment to designing and implementing pedagogies of engagement makes them exemplars of teaching for the entire UCR community of teacher-scholars,” he said.

Read more about the award recipients