Six Faculty Members Named to UCR Academy of Distinguished Teachers

Duties include serving as mentors for new faculty, organizing and taking part in seminars, colloquia, and workshops

classroom photo

Responsibilities of the UCR Academy of Distinguished Teachers include serving as mentors for new faculty, organizing and taking part in seminars, colloquia, and workshops on teaching excellence. Photo by Ross French

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Six faculty members at the University of California, Riverside have been appointed to the campus’ Academy of Distinguished Teachers, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education Steven Brint announced this week.

The newcomers are all past recipients of major campus teaching awards and were selected by the current members of the academy. Joining the 10-member academy are Professors Wendy Ashmore (Anthropology), Steven Gould Axelrod (English), Bradley Hyman (Biology), Goldberry Long (Creative Writing), Michael Marsella (Chemistry), and Timothy D. Paine (Entomology).

Returning members are Professors Victor Zordan (Computer Science, chair), Subir Ghosh (Statistics), Jodie Holt (Botany and Plant Sciences), and Susan Straight (Creative Writing).

The academy serves as an advisory group to the provost on teaching excellence and provides institutional leadership and guidance. Members serve as teaching mentors for new faculty and by organizing and taking part in seminars, colloquia, and workshops on teaching excellence. The academy designs and produces the Scholarship of Teaching seminars in partnership with the office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education. It also reviews teaching-related initiatives and grant proposals from members of the campus community.

Ashmore said that she was “surprised and humbled” to be appointed to the academy.

“The opportunity is a great honor, and I look forward eagerly to working with other academy members, learning from them and hopefully contributing jointly to the already high quality of education here,” she said.

Long had a similar sentiment.

“I am thrilled and honored to be included in such a talented group of educators,” Long said. “While I hope to contribute, I also hope to learn from them and continue to improve my own teaching.”

Axelrod said that he also looks forward to interacting with teachers from other disciplines.

“Teaching is a very personal thing for me. It’s about the knowledge and reading skills I can impart, and it’s about the students I talk to and interact with,” Axelrod said. “I’m happy to be selected for the Academy of Distinguished Teachers, and I look forward to talking with other teachers about what makes teaching so valuable and so much fun.”

Biographies of the Newest Members of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers

Wendy Ashmore

Wendy Ashmore

Professor of Anthropology Wendy Ashmore researches spatial organization and meaning among the ancient Maya and their neighbors, and over the last 40 years she has conducted archeological research in Arizona, Guatemala, Honduras, and Belize.

She joined UCR in 2000 and has since received the Academic Senate’s Distinguished Teaching Award (2007) and the Graduate Division’s Doctoral Dissertation Advisor/Mentor Award (2009). In 2012, she received the Alfred Vincent Kidded Award for Eminence in American Archaeology, the highest professional honor in the field, from the American Anthropological Association.She currently serves on the Research Scholars Advisory Board for the system-wide UC ADVANCE PAID program for advancing STEM success for women’s and underrepresented minorities.

Ashmore received her B.A. from UCLA in 1969, and her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1981.

Steven Gould Axelrod

Steven Gould Axelrod

Distinguished Professor of English Steven Gould Axelrod is a specialist in American poetry from the  19th and 20th-centuries. During his time at UC Riverside, he has served as English Department chair, as chair of the Committee on Academic Personnel, as president of the Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association, and as founding president of the Robert Lowell Society.

He is the author of Robert Lowell: Life and Art and Sylvia Plath: The Wound and the Cure of Words, and is the senior co-author of Robert Lowell: A Reference Guide. He is presently completing a new book on Cold War Poetics and will serve as senior co-editor of Robert Lowell’s Prose (to be published by Farrar, Straus, & Giroux). He has served as editor or co-editor on a variety of works and has published 30 refereed book chapters and 35 refereed articles on U. S. literature.

Axelrod attended UCLA, receiving his B.A. in 1966, his M.A. in English in 1969, and his Ph.D. in English in 1972.

Brad Hyman

Bradley Hyman

Bradley Hyman, chair of the Department of Biology, has been a faculty member at UC Riverside since 1983. Hyman’s research focuses on the synthesis, maintenance and molecular evolution of mitochondrial DNA, a small circular genome encoding genes necessary for cellular respiration and energy production. He has received the Academic Senate’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 2001, the Graduate Council’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 1984 and the Academy of Distinguished Teachers’ Innovative Teaching Award in 2007. Nationally, he has been named a National Academies Education Fellow and Education Mentor and he has been recognized as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Society of Nematologists.

Hyman is director of our CalTEACH-Science Mathematics Initiative, a program designed to recruit STEM majors into middle and high school teaching careers and he has been honored by the Riverside Unified School District with their People Who Make a Difference award.

Hyman received his B.A. in biology from UCSD then attended UCLA for his Ph.D., conducting postdoctoral work at the University of Wisconsin.

Goldberry Long

Goldberry Long

Assistant Professor of Creative Writing Goldberry Long holds an MFA in fiction from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa and is an award-winning writer and teacher.

A 2013 winner of the UCR Award for Innovative Teaching, Long is also the recipient of a Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University, a James Michener Fellowship, and numerous residencies including at The Ucross Foundation and the Virginia Center for the Creative arts.

Her novel, Juniper Tree Burning (Simon and Schuster, 2001) was compared by the New York Times to Thomas Wolfe, and called “a big, fiery howl of a novel”;  and the San Francisco Chronicle said it “balances risky, ambitious storytelling with delicate narrative craftsmanship.”  Her second novel, The Kingdom of No, is under contract at Simon and Schuster and should be published in the next 18 months. She has recently completed her third novel, O’Keeffe’s Girl.

Michael Marsella

Michael Marsella

Associate Professor of Chemistry Michael Marsella joined the UC Riverside faculty 1997. His work in organic material chemistry has evolved into a focus on drug design strategies, particularly focusing on CNS disorders. He received the UCR Distinguished Teaching Award in 2007 and has also been honored with the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research in 2004 and UCR University Honors Faculty Mentor of the Year in 2008.

He also received the Research Innovation Award from the Research Corporation  in 1999 and the DuPont Young Professor Award from 2000 to 2003.

A native of Rhode Island, Michael Marsella earned a BS in secondary education from the University of Rhode Island, then earned a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania. He received an NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship which allowed him to do his postdoctoral work with Nobel Laureate Professor Robert Grubbs at Caltech.

Tim Paine

Tim Paine

Professor of Entomology Timothy D. Paine has been a member of the UC Riverside faculty since 1986, developing research programs on the ecology of insect herbivores of woody plants in urban landscapes and forest systems.

Paine received the Distinguished Teaching Award in 2004 and the Innovative Teaching Award in 2010. He was recognized as a National Academies Education Fellow in the Life Sciences in 2008-09 and is also a fellow of both the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Entomological Society of America. His research contributions were recognized with both the Entomological Society of America Recognition Award in Urban Entomology and the ESA Distinguished Achievement Award in Horticultural Entomology.

An advocate of active learning, he helped develop UCR’s Philosophy & Pedagogy of Teaching Undergraduate Life Science class, which helps graduate students interested in pursuing academic careers design life science courses with an active learning approach.

He received his B.S. in entomology and his B.A. in history at UC Davis, then returned to the campus to obtain his Ph.D. in entomology. He did his postdoctoral work at the University of Arkansas.

Archived under: Inside UCR, , , , , , , , , ,

Top of Page