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University of California Santa Barbara
Academic Senate Awards

Prior Year Recipients

2016-17 Distinguished Teaching Award

Aashish Mehta - Global Studies

Aashish Mehta is an associate professor in the department of global and international studies, and has been with the department since 2007. He has a PhD in Agriculture and Applied Economics and primarily studies and teaches about global political economy. In particular he is interested in the linkages between education, structural changes in national economies and inequality. Professor Mehta teaches a variety of courses ranging from the Introduction to Global Socioeconomic Processes, to upper-division courses on Global Economic Imbalances and Financial Crises; and graduate courses on Globalization and Markets. Our committee was particularly struck by the way he took up the challenges of teaching in an interdisciplinary department and dedicated himself to teaching microeconomic models, social science research design, and always requires students to engage in hands-on data analysis. While it is very challenging to teach political economy to students lacking the background in economics, Mehta received an Instructional development grant to create a series of online lectures and videos to help build some of the basic skills necessary for students to succeed in his demanding classroom. Basically, he has experimented with what is now being called a “flipped” classroom, which allows him to spend his classroom lectures on more conceptual topics.

Dr. Mehta expects a great deal from his students and himself, for example offering 5 hours of regular office hours a week, for example. Dr. Mehta’s courses have a reputation for their rigor, but as one student put it, “he provided us with the support we needed to thrive as students and scholars.” Summing up, this student wrote: Professor Aashish Mehta is one of the unique brand of academic who can do it all. On top of his innovative political-economy research, Professor Mehta has inspired generations of students to roll up our sleeves and develop complex and nuanced perspectives on the burning issues of the day.”