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University of California Santa Barbara
Academic Senate Awards

Prior Year Recipients

2017-18 Distinguished Teaching Award

Sathya Guruswamy - Physics, College of Creative Studies

Sathya Guruswamy is a dedicated, generous, and innovative teacher in the Department of Physics and in the Physics Program of the College of Creative Studies—indeed, a vital link between the two. She has contributed to the enrichment of every aspect of Physics study at UCSB: recruiting new students, creating study-abroad programs, developing new courses that pioneer interactive and collaborative learning methods, mentoring graduate students and helping them secure awards and fellowships. Dr. Guruswamy’s commitment to teaching is an inspiration to her students and her TAs. As one physics graduate student wrote, “her drive and dedication to the students is infectious, making me want to put in the same level of dedication and care myself…she is a teacher whom I would have been happy to take a class from and whom I seek to imitate in my own teaching.” And, as one of her undergraduate students succinctly put it: “she has made pedagogy an art.” Dr. Guruswamy devotes a great deal of time to her students outside of the classroom as well, from offering extended office hours and supplemental lectures to discussing career plans and checking in on the well-being of her students. In all of these endeavors, Dr. Guruswamy has nurtured an abiding spirit of inquiry and has had a profound impact on her students. As one former student wrote: “Learning from Dr. Guruswamy has been one of the most profound academic experiences I have ever had…Every day that we had class, I would look forward to learning from her. I wish that she taught every Physics class I had taken.” In recognition of her excellence in teaching and commitment to her students in all stages of their careers, it is our pleasure to award Dr. Guruswamy the 2018 Distinguished Teaching Award.