CHASS Recognizes Outstanding Faculty in Award Ceremony

By Staci Wilson, CHASS Dean’s Office Student Intern
December 2, 2010

Professor Thomas C. Patterson is the recipient of this year’s CHASS Distinguished Lecturer Award. Professor Patterson has published fifteen books, edited five books, and written six text books in addition to producing nearly one hundred articles and chapters covering a wide range of interdisciplinary topics; his current research focuses on the historical development of anthropology and archaeology. He helps lead the CHASS Community in academic excellence not only through his ten year position as Chair of the Anthropology Department, but also as a dissertation advisor to numerous students and as an active participant in eighteen professional organizations. Through his dedication, achievements, and enthusiastic involvement, Professor Patterson has won the respect and admiration of his colleagues who call him (in their nomination for the award), “a truly distinguished scholar whose research, teaching and service are exemplary in every respect,” and go on to detail his, in their own words, “astonishing, prolific scholarly production.”

This year’s recipient of the CHASS Distinguished Teaching Award for a Junior Faculty Member also hails from the anthropology department. Professor T.S. Harvey has worked at UCR for only three years, but in that time has developed an incredible reputation on campus, particularly among the student body. He is recognized as one who inspires and engages his students, encouraging them to be involved academically and have confidence in the application of their classroom knowledge. At the award ceremony, Professor Harvey’s recognition speech was chalked full of quotes from admiring former students. “Judging by the long lines of students outside his office, students are eager to have Professor Harvey mentor them, and they find in him a role model with whom they can identify and from whom they can learn,” attests one of his colleagues. Professor Harvey’s focus is on linguistic and medical anthropology, through which he addresses disparities in health care and works to aid disaster relief efforts by improving crisis communication.

The Senior Faculty Distinguished Teaching Award went to Professor Ellen Reese, a member of the Sociology Department with a focus on political sociology and gender. As a contributor to the CHASS First Program, which seeks to guide, involve, and expose first years from the very beginning of their academic career at UCR, Professor Reese has taught two Freshman Discovery Seminars. Aside from teaching a full course load (for which she receives excellent student reviews), Professor Reese continues her involvement with UCR students through her efforts as Senior Thesis Advisor for five undergraduates, leader of an undergraduate upper division honors research project, member of ten Qualifying Exam Committees, nine Oral Exam committees, six MA Thesis committees, and thirteen PHD committees. Professor Reese is Chair of the Interdisciplinary Labor Studies Program, and over the past two and a half years has supervised sixty-two labor studies internships for seventeen local union and community organizations. At the award ceremony, Professor Reese was recognized as, “an exemplary mentor for both undergraduate and graduate students at UCR.”

CHASS teaching awards are chosen by specially designated committees based on nominations from students and faculty members. The committees take into consideration numerical and narrative student evaluations, peer review letters, letters from current and former students who have been particularly impacted by the candidate, documentation of department involvement, and documentation of educational outreach activities.

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