University Honors Program Recognizes Faculty for Teaching and Mentorship

RIVERSIDE, Calif. - The University Honors Program is pleased to announce the recipients of our 2008-2009 academic year faculty awards.

The Professor of the Year Award is an annual award to recognize an outstanding faculty who participates in the University Honors Program through teaching and mentoring.  Students nominate professors that they've worked with in either a teaching or mentoring relationship.

All Upper Division Honors students are eligible to nominate faculty for the Faculty Mentor of the Year Awards. Each year two faculty are selected (typically from different colleges) from among the nominations. These professor's show outstanding service and dedication to mentoring students who are conducting undergraduate research.

Dr. Chris Abani, of the Department of Creative Writing has been honored with the 2008-2009 Professor of the Year award for his course Creative Writing 97H: Freshmen Honors Project.

A student nominator noted that "Professor Abani helped stretch my understanding of poetry and writing to a new level, helping me engage with my writing and my self on a deep and profound level. He helped me to believe in what I do. Professor Abani regularly pushes his students to consider writing and the world in a new and deeper way, whether they are practiced writers or people who have never written a poem before in their life. And he does so with compassion and humor that makes him an infinitely relatable teacher as well as an incredible writer."

Dr. Xuan Liu of the Department of Biochemistry along with Dr. Tuppett Yates of the Department of Pychology were awarded the 2008-2009 Faculty Mentor of the Year award for their mentorship of Upper Division Honors students.

Michael Panowicz nominated Prof. Liu for her advice, and direct supervision, which has taught responsibility and a work ethic, as well as how to think critically and problem solve.  He states, "no one has been more involved in my undergraduate career than Dr. Liu."

Many undergraduate student researchers nominated Prof. Yates for her care and affection in seeing them succeed. One is quoted as saying, "Dr. Yates finds the time to meet with her students individually, inquire about their progress, and ask about their plans for the future. She recognizes their strengths to give them confidence and encourage them to keep on striving. At the same time, she is honest to tell her students their weaknesses, not to discourage them but to help them keep their feet on the ground, and encourage them to work harder to turn this [weakness in to a strength.]

The Honors Program thanks Professors Abani, Liu and Yates for their passion for teaching and their commitment to student learning.

The University Honors Program enhances the learning environment for undergraduates of the University of California, Riverside serving all class levels. We strive to stimulate the learning process, integrate the in-class and out-of-class experiences, and promote an environment conducive to growth and discovery. To learn more, visit www.honors.ucr.edu or call (951) 827-5323.

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