Distinguished Honors Faculty Award

The duties of a teacher are neither few nor small, but they elevate the mind and give energy to the character.

Dorothea Dix, Educator and Social Reformer, 1802-1887

Nomination Process

Each year, the L&S Honors Program solicits student nominations of faculty members (or instructional academic staff) who have had a special impact as instructors of Honors courses, as supervisors of Honors theses, or as teachers and mentors of Honors students. The Faculty Honors Committee reviews these nominations and votes to confer Distinguished Honors Faculty status on the strongest nominees for these awards each spring. Below, we recognize each of these incredible educators and thank them for their contributions to the lives of all students, and particularly those in the L&S Honors Program.

2021-22 Awardees

Martha Alibali

Credentials: Psychology

Excerpt from student nomination: “Professor Alibali has been incredibly supportive of my involvement in research by encouraging me to apply for opportunities like the Honors Sophomore Summer Apprenticeship, where she gave me the opportunity to work with a team of graduate students in spearheading the design of a new research project. Before her encouragement to further my involvement in her research lab, I hadn’t ever considered applying to Ph.D. programs or pursuing a career in research. Further, she has been incredibly supportive throughout the process of designing my Senior Honors Thesis project. While having high expectations for me, she is sympathetic to my little previous experience and is always willing to find time to help me through any questions or setbacks.”

William Aylward

Credentials: Classics

Excerpt from student nomination:

“Prof Aylward has changed my perspective on the role of myths and literature in our world and he has opened my eyes to how themes from antiquity remain present in our everyday world. Prof Aylward’s class embodies what I envision of when I think of UW excellence.”

Excerpt from student nomination:

“Dr. Aylward is extremely kind, thoughtful, and encouraging. His pedagogy includes lots of small details that really, really make a class genuinely enjoyable, especially for me, a very tired senior! … I truly think that Dr. Aylward deserves this award! He has been the most thoughtful of all Honors professors I’ve had thus far.”

Anja Jovic-Humphrey

Credentials: English

Excerpt from student nomination: “She is not only incredibly passionate and knowledgeable about what she teaches, but she also cares so much about her students. She shows this care through her availability, openness to discussion, and frequent check-ins about what her students want in her course… I believe that Dr. Jovic-Humphrey should receive the Distinguished Honors Faculty Award because of her commitment to her students and their learning. While I was in her class, Dr. Jovic-Humphrey provided many opportunities to receive help directly from her (ex: staying after class and offering one-on-one meetings), was incredibly passionate in her teachings (ex: sharing anecdotes from her own life), and was clearly committed to the success of her students (ex: being flexible about personal issues, etc.)…  Dr. Jovic-Humphrey is one of my favorite professors and I am so grateful to have met her. My experiences in her class have had a huge positive impact on my life.”

Jose Rodriquez

Credentials: Mathematics

Excerpt from student nomination: “Jose is a Distinguished Honors faculty because of how he has mentored me since we met last summer. He knew I wanted to apply for graduate school so he repeatedly pushed me towards opportunities that would prepare me. I recall one conversation where he said he has been pushing me to do more, not because I am not good enough, but because he wants me to be well-equipped for graduate school…. He showed me grace and patience that I have not seen from other faculty members; he created a safe environment for me to grow as a researcher… Having spoken with his graduate students, we all concur that anyone would be lucky to have him as a mentor.”

Martin Zanni

Credentials: Chemistry

Excerpt from student nomination: “Every morning he would say hi and give us all a high-five. He hosted a bonfire at the start of semester because he knew that friends in class are important to succeed. At the bonfire we got to know Marty and classmates which helped us be more comfortable to ask questions and study together… Despite being a first year, Marty is the best educator that I have had. It is not only crazily amazing what he knows, but also amazing how he can simplify complex topics to educate first years… Despite the Chem 115/116 sequence being hard, the way he conducted class made it the most enjoyable class which is what I hope to do one day as a professor. His encouragement and feedback in that class has inspired me to work hard and to never feel hopeless when classes and exams don’t go as well as I hoped. His approach to education is something I wish I saw more from professors and believe it should be recognized because it can have long lasting impacts on students.”

Past Awardees

No awards were made in 2021.

  • William Bement, Integrative Biology, Center for Quantitative Cell Imaging
  • Karen Britland, English
  • Mario Ortiz-Robles, English
  • Song Gao, Geography
  • Patrick Iber, History
  • Shuchi Chawla, Computer Sciences

Honorable Mention

The Faculty Honors Committee singled out the following faculty nominees for an Honorable Mentions as a result of the student recommendations each received for the 2019-20 academic school year.

  • Steven Brooke, Political Science
  • Kristina Huang, English
  • Dan Kapust, Political Science
  • Jonathan Martin, Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences
  • Steve Nadler, Philosophy
  • Yuri Saalman, Psychology
  • Joseph Austerweil, Psychology
  • Barbara Bendlin, Medicine
  • Thomas Brunold, Chemistry
  • Emily Fletcher, Philosophy
  • Gloria Whiting, History
  • Allyson Bennett, Psychology
  • Kathryn Ciancia, History
  • Chad Goldberg, Sociology
  • Katherine Hustad, Communication Sciences and Disorders
  • Seth McGee, Biocore
  • Judith Mitchell, English; Creative Writing
  • Elliott Sober, Philosophy
  • Daniel Quint, Economics
  • M. Thomas Record, Jr., Chemistry
  • Jolanda Vanderwal Taylor, German, Nordic & Slavic
  • Harry Brighouse, Philosophy
  • Eric Carlsson, History
  • Loredana Comparone, Spanish and Portuguese
  • Judith Harackiewicz, Psychology
  • Michelle Harris, Biocore
  • Cora Lee Kluge, German
  • Randall Goldsmith, Chemistry
  • Rita Kaushanskaya, Communication Science and Disorders
  • Mario Ortiz Robles, English
  • Timothy Rogers, Psychology
  • Howard Schweber, Political Science
  • Scott Straus, Political Science
  • Danielle Benden, Anthropology
  • David Danaher, Slavic
  • Raymond Deneckere, Economics
  • Ralph Grunewald, Legal Studies and Comparative Literature
  • Maryellen MacDonald, Psychology
  • Tiziana Serafini, French and Italian
  • Susan Bernstein, English
  • Christopher Wells, Journalism and Mass Communication
  • Janet Hyde, Psychology
  • Carol Lee, Zoology
  • Peiman Hematti, Hematology and Oncology
  • Richard Avramenko, Political Science
  • Charles T. Snowdon, Psychology
  • William Cronon, History
  • Edward Friedman, Political Science
  • Bryan Hendricks, Psychology
  • Susan B. Horwitz, Computer Sciences
  • Jack W. Mitchell, Journalism and Mass Communication
  • Catherine H. Middlecamp, Chemistry
  • Gary G. Weismer, Communicative Disorders
  • Janet C. Batzli, Biology Core Curriculum
  • Richard J. Begam, English
  • Robert Booth Fowler, Political Science
  • Cyrena N. Pondrom, English
  • Jenny R. Saffran, Psychology
  • Kenneth D. West, Economics