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University of California Santa Barbara
Academic Senate Awards

Prior Year Recipients

2015-16 Distinguished Teaching Award

Erika Rappaport - History

Professor Rappaport joined the Department of History at UCSB in 1997 and teaches British and British Empire history. Her teaching philosophy is to “encourage students to take charge of their own education, to see themselves as researchers, and feel a part of a broader community of scholars.” She takes an interdisciplinary approach to teaching, using sources from literature, popular culture, photography, visual arts, and written documents to create a transparent and collaborative classroom.

Professor Rappaport is a superb undergraduate instructor in large introductory classes, small upper division lectures, and undergraduate seminars, reflected in her student evaluations that are well above departmental norms. As the result of Professor Rappaport’s mentorship, a former undergraduate student attests: “She helped me secure a grant to travel to London for archival research,” which eventually led to her winning the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research and beginning a professional career in the United Kingdom.

At the graduate level, she has served on an impressive number of graduate committees both in History and in other departments, devoting her time and expertise to mentoring students. One doctoral candidate writes: “Her support allowed me to embark a project about British Burma, a decision that changed my life. Over the past three years I have received numerous major fellowships, including a Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship to study Burmese, a yearlong Graduate Opportunity Fellowship from the University of California, a Mellon Fellowship from the Institute of Historical Research in London, departmental funding to research my project in Myanmar, and most recently, a yearlong Humanities Research Assistant Fellowship from the University of California…I can only hope to one day inspire students the way she has inspired me.”

For her dedication and excellence in teaching, Professor Erika Rappaport is awarded a Distinguished Teaching Award. Congratulations!