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Dean Honors Tykeson Winners

Three faculty members were recently honored with the 2017 Tykeson Teaching Awards.

Andrew Marcus (left), Tykeson Dean of Arts and Sciences, recently announced the awards that annually recognize one exceptional faculty member in each of the College of Arts and Science’s three divisions.

Kelley León Howarth (Romance languages), Scott Fisher (physics) and Ronald Mitchell (political science and environmental studies) were this year’s recipients.

León Howarth was credited for combining meticulous attention to detail with genuine concern for each student. She plays a key role on the Spanish Heritage Language team, which encourages students who learned Spanish in their home or community to acquire literacy and competence in academic Spanish. She also teaches courses that prepare students for advanced work in the subject. León Howarth is much-in-demand as an adviser to students in the heritage language program and those working toward majors or minors in Spanish.

Fisher’s energy for teaching and passion for astronomy has been described as being comparable to “a shock wave from a supernova.” He was recognized for his genuine—and infectious—enthusiasm. Many students have ranked Fisher as among the best professors they’ve had, noting how his energy infuses the classroom and keeps them engaged.

Fisher leads work at UO’s Pine Mountain Observatory with similar gusto, improving its capabilities as a research and public-education resource while leading a growing undergraduate research program there.

Mitchell was recognized as one of those rare educators who can teach large introductory classes that students love while helping them succeed with advanced research projects. His first thought is always about the support and guidance that students need, while also demanding that they push themselves further.

Mitchell involves a noteworthy number of undergraduates in his research projects, nominates them for awards, pushes them toward graduate-level study and follows them through their careers. He does the same for graduate students, demanding that they realize their promise as budding researchers and selflessly giving his time and advice to help them get there.

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