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University of California Santa Barbara
Academic Senate Awards

Prior Year Recipients

2014-15 Distinguished Teaching Award

Steven J. C. Gaulin - Anthropology

Professor Steven Gaulin has been a faculty member of the Department of Anthropology since 2003. As a biological anthropologist, he is credited for helping his students think like scientists rather than simply promoting rote learning and memorization. Students leave his classes with a valuable set of ideas that they can apply in novel situations and innovative contexts.

He receives particular praise for his teaching of Anthropology 5 (Introduction to Physical Anthropology), which is described as “a unique and innovative course, due to Professor Gaulin’s efforts.” He uses a variety of multi-media enhancements to offer an engaging and pioneering educational experience to large lectures (nearing 700 in fall quarter). For this class, he carefully crafted and edited his lecture videos, which students watched on their own time after completing the assigned readings. Students submitted their questions through the website and he constructed an engaging lecture, building their questions upon one another to parallel their growing knowledge. His dedication is such that he works to keep the material engaging for the broad array of general-education students who take this class, offering challenges and insights for students at all levels of preparation.

In summary, one of his former undergraduates offers the following praise: “Dr. Gaulin is one of the best and most influential professors that I have ever had. His ability to teach and communicate with enthusiasm, genuine concern for his students’ academic development, and unique teaching methods are the reason why Dr. Gaulin is the perfect candidate for a Distinguished Teaching Award.”

For his dedication and exemplary teaching Professor Steven Gaulin is awarded a Distinguished Teaching Award. Congratulations!