Meet the 2023 teachers of the year Meet the 2023 teachers of the year Meet the 2023 teachers of the year

By Jon Marmor | Photos by UW Photography | June 2023 issue

From inspiration to impact, this year’s Distinguished Teaching Award recipients mentor and nurture students from all disciplines.

Distinguished Teaching Awards

Anjulie Ganti

Associate Teaching Professor, UW Seattle

Department: Health Systems and Population Health, School of Public Health

“My teaching career started at 9 years old, assisting my Bharatanatyan teacher. She demonstrated that teaching is an embodied practice requiring patience, confidence, performance, continuous study, iterative reflection, experimentation, refinement, relationship and love. School was hard for me, due to a complicated relationship with math, so I found clever ways to learn by making up tricks that I’d share with classmates who were also struggling.”

Marieka Klawitter

Professor, UW Seattle

Department: Evans School of Public Policy & Governance

“Students have different starting points, life views and goals, and my mission is to serve them each as well as possible. I have worked with ASL translators, created a window screen grid to make graphs for a blind student, and worked with students with learning disabilities to find how they learn best. Pre-pandemic, I started offering Saturday Zoom office hours for struggling statistics students. I strive to make my classes and our curriculum work for students of color, LGBTQA students, international students, students with disabilities and others who have been underrepresented in making public policy. I especially love helping first-generation students learn how to thrive in the academic system.”

Regina Lee

Associate Teaching Professor, UW Seattle

Department: Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies, College of Arts & Sciences

“As I begin my eighth quarter at the UW, I can say that without a doubt Dr. Lee has been one of the best professors I have ever had. [She] is a professor who urges students not only to do well in academics, but to be the best person they can be.”—Undergraduate student Grayson McKinnerney

Elinore “Elli” Theobald

Assistant Teaching Professor, UW Seattle

Department: Biology, College of Arts & Sciences

“My philosophy is that to maximize learning and disrupt educational inequities, students need deliberate practice through evidence-based pedagogy in a student-centered, inclusive environment. I call this the Heads and Hearts Hypothesis: Heads are activated by active learning, and hearts are supported with inclusive teaching.”

Yusuf Pisan

Associate Teaching Professor, UW Bothell

Department: School of Computing & Software System

“Dr. Pisan has led novel ways of teaching at UW Bothell, such as Tech for Good, which carries several projects developed by and meant for students. It offers an excellent opportunity for students to work on research while providing solutions to problems that undergraduate students face when preparing for technical interviews for internships. He is a humble yet intelligent professor that recognizes students for their hard work. He is open and willing to listen to students’ voices.”—Elizabeth Castillo 

Ellen Bayer

Associate Professor, UW Tacoma

Department: Culture, Arts and Communication,
School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

“I spend a significant amount of time engaging with students outside of the classroom who reach out to me for support and guidance. I have worked with a number of unhoused students to help them access resources on campus and in the city, in addition to working on a plan to help them succeed in my course as they navigate these challenges. I have had many students …  who are experiencing mental health issues, PTSD, food insecurity, serious illness and family concerns. I have had students who are refugees come to me for support. In all of these instances, I am here to listen to the student, to let them know I see and hear them, and to express empathy and compassion.”

Distinguished Teaching Award for Teams

Ben Gardner, Eva Navarijo, Natalia Dyba, Ron Krabill, (Sarah Ramirez not pictured)

UW Bothell Global Scholars Program

  • Ben Gardner, Associate Professor, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences
  • Ron Krabill, Professor, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences
  • Natalia Dyba, Director of Global Initiatives, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences
  • Eva Navarijo, Director of Academic Services, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences
  • Sarah Ramirez, Student/Alumni, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

“As an Asian American woman and a first-generation student, there weren’t many spaces where I felt like I could purposefully talk about my identity. Being asked difficult questions about power and inequality with my cohort of less than 20 other peers, I was deeply impacted by all the diverse perspectives and vulnerability that everyone was willing to lean into.”—UW Bothell undergraduate student Jennie Ha

Jennie Do, Jennifer Chang, Karan Dawson, Leigh Ann Mike, Claudia Choi

Pharmacist Provider Series / School of Pharmacy

  • Jennifer Chang, Clinical Associate Professor
  • Claudia Choi, Assistant Teaching Professor
  • Jennie Do, Clinical Assistant Professor
  • Karan Dawson, Clinical Associate Professor
  • Leigh Ann Mike, Clinical Associate Professor

“The effort, commitment and genuine care that the teaching team puts into their classes is clear and truly makes a difference for the first-year pharmacy students’ experience. This team is a great example of why collaboration matters, and how working together can give you the best outcome.”—Doctoral candidate Nicole Duncan

Distinguished Contributions to Lifelong Learning Award

Sam Sharar

Professor Emeritus

Department: Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

“My greatest teaching satisfaction has come from supporting—and learning from—non-traditional adult learners in two disparate settings outside of the traditional UW environment.  These groups of adult learners reinforced … that “real” learning comes from those around you each day in the classroom of life.”