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University of California Santa Barbara
Academic Senate Awards

Prior Year Recipients

2015-16 Distinguished Teaching Award

Tommy Dickey - Geography

Professor Dickey joined the Department of Geography at UCSB in 1996. He is the principle investigator of the Ocean Physics Laboratory and a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union. He discovered a passion for teaching while serving in the U.S. Coast Guard to do humanitarian service and while pursuing a graduate degree.

A student veteran relates that Professor Dickey truly understands the needs and challenges of student veterans. She was honored when Professor Dicky presented her with an Inspiring Student Award. Furthermore, the student states: “[He] agreed to be my mentor…and with his help…McNair accepted me in their program.” Originally majoring in English, the student now considers pursuing a PhD in Geography with an emphasis in Human Geography or a PhD in English with an emphasis in Environmental Literature.

Professor Dickey is described as “innovative,” “approachable,” and “inspiring.” A former doctoral students stated: “he has provided me with invaluable support that has guided and shaped my academic career” and another student, who is now an Earth Observation Scientist shared: “[his] guidance provided an essential contribution for the success of my graduate studies.”

Professor Dickey has put into action his teaching philosophy of “placing my highest priority on creating an educational environment that is safe, inclusive, respectful, and enjoyable.” The Chair of the Department of Geography commends Professor Dickey for his humility, humor, and devotion. He noted Professor Dickey’s impressive scholarly bio (180 publications) and high teaching evaluations with large class sizes, while serving well over 100 graduate committees, and complimented: “Professor Dickey inspires his students as more than just a teacher, but as a role model.”

For his passion and dedication to teaching, Professor Tommy Dickey is awarded a Distinguished Teaching Award. Congratulations!