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University of California Santa Barbara
Academic Senate Awards

Prior Year Recipients

2012-13 Distinguished Teaching Award

John Foran - Sociology

Professor John Foran is faculty member in the Department of Sociology, where he has taught since 1989. Professor Foran conducts research and teaches in the very diverse areas of revolution, development, cultural studies, and comparative/historical and global sociological methods. He is a world-renowned expert in several areas of sociology, especially the study of social revolutions, social movements and comparative/historical analysis.

The chair of his department comments: "Professor Foran is also an extraordinarily dedicated teacher who in his twenty plus years as a faculty member at UCSB has systematically and passionately worked to connect his scholarly research to his teaching practice. What has evolved over the years is an utterly unique and innovative pedagogical system that has made Foran one of the most successful, well-respected and extraordinary teachers on the UCSB campus."

Many of his undergraduates call Professor Foran’s teaching "inspiring" and one states, "What I have learned from him about teaching and about sociology was pivotal in informing my decision to apply to graduate schools in Sociology. Indeed, my recent acceptance to pursue a PhD is certainly due in large part to the passion for teaching and pursuit of research that I learned from him." One of his graduate students writes: "Having witnessed firsthand his approach to both graduate and undergraduate education, I can attest to the success of his dynamic teaching method. He has not only inspired his students to take up issues of social justice, but has inspired me to become a more effective educator."

A senior Sociology student comments on Professor Foran’s influence outside the classroom: "Dr. Foran’s mentoring has been, without a doubt, the most important influence on my undergraduate experience. His passion for teaching is matched only by his dedication to building relationships with his students…. In each meeting I would bring one question of interest, and would leave with ten more. Each visit opened up further conversations that spurred me to pursue matters further on my own. I fed off his passion for the material, and decided to pursue sociology as a major."

In summary, his nominator writes, "Professor Foran has made outstanding and multiple contributions to teaching at every level: in the undergraduate classroom, in his graduate seminars and mentoring, and in various other ways in the department, across the campus, and in the national arena. This is a world-class scholar who has also taken his teaching to the highest level through a unique combination of creativity, openness, and passion for making the classroom a place of growth."

For his hard work and dedication to teaching John Foran is awarded a Distinguished Teaching Award. Congratulations!