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University of California Santa Barbara
Academic Senate Awards

Prior Year Recipients

2012-13 Distinguished Teaching Award

Howard Giles - Communication

Professor Howard ("Howie") Giles has been a faculty member in the Department of Communication since 1989, and he served as chair of the department from 1991-98. He also holds affiliated appointments in Linguistics and Psychological & Brain Sciences.

Although Professor Giles’ course evaluations are extraordinary, they are but one testament to his reputation as an outstanding teacher. He is renowned among students for his approachability; that is, encouraging students’ questions in class and meeting with them in office hours and beyond to discuss academic, professional futures, and personal issues relating to class. A senior Communication major states, "His dedication to teaching within and outside the classroom is unmatched by any professor I have had during my four years at UCSB." Another of his former students writes, "I consider myself a lucky woman to be educated at the University of California Santa Barbara and to have been taught by so many talented professors across various disciplines. I am therefore honored to confidently hold Professor Giles above the rest in distinction. While at UCSB, I took every class he offered to undergraduates..."

In his personal statement, Professor Giles describes two very influential lecturers he had in graduate school. He has strived to model his teaching after them by "appreciating how so very influential, performative and caring teachers can be in making the material absorbing, intellectually exciting, and oftentimes fun." Professor Giles is known for his dynamic, energetic presentations. He has a passion for communication, a zeal for imparting and translating ideas, and a humorous engaging style of presentation. As one of her supporters attests, "Students relish his entertaining and humorous style while gaining an appreciation for how theoretical concepts are created."

Finally, Professor Giles’ teaching credentials are unquestionable. As one of his supporters proclaims, he "not only educates, but inspires, mentors, and motivates his students and in turn, furthers the progression of knowledge". One of his students attests to this: "He taught me to question what we believed to be certain, to delve into research in order to open up truth behind injustice and to apply the skills of research to all aspects of my life. What I think I treasure the most is how he taught me to find and harness my own strengths and to utilize them beyond the small world I had made for myself."

For his dedication and excellence in teaching Professor Howard Giles is awarded a Distinguished Teaching Award. Congratulations!