Associate Professor Akiko Walley and Assistant Professor Christopher Michlig were recognized with university-wide teaching awards in separate surprise presentations by UO Provost and Senior Vice President Scott Coltrane in Lawrence Hall during May.
Above: Associate Professor Akiko Walley (right) celebrates her Herman award with Provost Scott Coltrane and Senior Vice Provost Susan Anderson. Photos by Jennifer Winters.
Akiko Walley, from the Department of the History of Art and Architecture, received the 2017 Thomas F. Herman Faculty Achievement Award for Distinguished Teaching in a presentation by Coltrane during a department faculty meeting on May 10. Michlig, from the Department of Art, received the 2017 Ersted Award for Specialized Pedagogy in a presentation by Coltrane during a faculty-staff meeting in the Hayden Gallery in Lawrence Hall on May 4.
The Herman award recognizes Walley—the Maude I. Kerns Associate Professor of Japanese Art and director of Undergraduate Studies—for her creativity and innovation in teaching.
Walley’s courses “are characterized by active learning based on students’ direct engagement with works of art,” Coltrane said in presenting the award. “Working closely with local collectors, galleries, and artists, Professor Walley creates opportunities for students to experience high-quality Japanese art works first-hand,” he said.
Students praise Walley’s passion, knowledge, and creativity, citing especially her innovative, hands-on pedagogy, Coltrane noted. One student writing of Walley’s teaching style commented that, “I felt privileged to have the rare opportunity to see such a wide range of high-quality prints from well-known artists in person, and not behind glass.”
Another said simply of Walley, “You are awesome!” Coltrane said.
The Herman award honors senior faculty members who have achieved outstanding records as teachers. The award is presented only to faculty members who have held academic rank at the University of Oregon for at least seven years, have demonstrated long-standing excellence in teaching, and have contributed significantly to student learning at the undergraduate or graduate level. Walley joined the school in 2009. She has a PhD in Japanese and Chinese art history from Harvard University.
Above: Assistant Professor Christopher Michlig (center) with fellow Department of Art faculty members and Provost Scott Coltrane (back row, second from left).
Christopher Michlig received the Ersted Award, which recognizes faculty members early in their careers who have demonstrated exceptional abilities to induce students to reason and who have expertise in a particular area of teaching.
Michlig was recognized for his innovative contributions to the Core Studio in the Department of Art. Michlig, the Graduate Program Director in the Department of Art, joined the school in 2012. He has an MFA from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.
Since joining the UO faculty, Michlig “has made remarkable contributions in curriculum and teaching,” Coltrane said. “Notably, he redesigned the cornerstone course of the Core Studio area into a series of lectures that introduce key design concepts to students in the context of contemporary art practice.” His classes “offer students the conceptual skills they need to problem solve across media,” Coltrane noted.
Coltrane said students described Michlig as offering a “perfect balance of humor, critical thinking, [and] discussion,” and is a “highly engaging lecturer” skilled at demonstrating “the connection between artists and the overlap between different styles [and] how art evolved.”
Michlig’s Ersted award includes a myrtlewood apple and a one-time stipend of $5,000. Walley’s Herman award includes a crystal apple and, during the first year, a $4,000 stipend with annual stipends of $2,000 beginning the second year.