University of Washington Tacoma (UWT) Associate Professor Janice Laakso was selected to receive the UWT 2008-09 Distinguished Teaching Award. According to UWT officials, Laakso was chosen by a committee of faculty from a field of accomplished colleagues nominated for the award. Laakso will receive a $5,000 honorarium.
For five consecutive years, UWT students have claimed distinction as winners of a national social work contest that tests their skills at influencing state policy under Laasko’s guidance.
In support of her nomination for the 2009 Distinguished Teaching Award, senior Rob Jones wrote, “Dr. Laakso is one of the most effective teachers because of the passion she has for her profession,” not only as a teacher and mentor, but “as a world-class social worker.”
“Teaching is important to me and I take it seriously,” Laakso says. “I really care that students learn.”
Similarly, Interdisciplinary Arts & Science Professor Claudia Gorbman was honored for her research on film music. Gorbman, professor of film studies and one of UWT’s founding faculty, was selected to receive the UWT 2008-09 Distinguished Research Award. She was chosen by a committee of faculty from a field of accomplished colleagues nominated for the award. Gorbman will receive a $5,000 honorarium and will deliver a lecture on her subject, open to everyone, next fall.
“Without a doubt, her work has been the foundation for an entire discipline, but continues to be a guiding light almost a generation later,” writes Daniel Goldmark, associate professor of music at Case Western Reserve University, in support of Gorbman’s nomination. Gorbman regularly receives invitations to give papers and speak at conferences and universities around the globe, and does so as frequently as her schedule allows. Recently she gave the keynote address at the international Screen conference in Glasgow. Since she joined UWT in 1990, she has given keynotes or lectures in Italy, Sweden, Poland, Australia, Germany, Hong Kong, Canada, England and Portugal, not to mention many American universities.
Gorbman is also the author of Unheard Melodies: Narrative Film Music, which set the stage for academic research of music in film. She is currently working on a second edition of the book, as well as a book on Agnes Varda. And she is co-editing another work in progress, The Oxford Handbook of New Audiovisual Aesthetics.