During Opening Days, Willamette University recognized seven outstanding faculty members for significant contributions in their areas of teaching, research and service.
Jerry E. Hudson Award for Excellence in TeachingNamed after Willamette’s 22nd president, this award celebrates distinguished teaching and leadership by a faculty member.
Michael Niño, Assistant Professor of Sociology
Michael Niño’s teaching interests include Latinx Sociology, Medical Sociology, and Quantitative Methods and Statistics. He has received rave reviews from students for both his rigor and his level of responsiveness to their interests and needs. In particular, students note the transformative effect his classes have had on their lives. In addition, he is an active scholar, having published three peer-reviewed articles since arriving at Willamette in 2015. Niño is also recognized for his work in advocating for greater institutional support for undocumented students.
Karen Sandrik, Assistant Professor of Law
Karen Sandrik teaches business-law courses such as contracts and commercial law, plus a variety of courses on the law of intellectual property. Students appreciate her enthusiasm, her approachability both in and out of the classroom, and her commitment to finding creative ways to teach practical skills in doctrinal classes. An active and nationally regarded scholar of intellectual property law, Sandrik exemplifies the teacher-scholar, innovatively infusing her classroom teaching with new scholarly insights from the fast changing world of intellectual property law. She is also an excellent mentor for students taking the bar, taking a detailed approach to the study plans for each student.
United Methodist Award for Exemplary Teaching and Service
This honor celebrates the extraordinary impact a professor can make both inside the classroom and within the community.
Stuart Read, Professor of Strategic Management
Since joining the Atkinson faculty in 2014, Stuart Read has demonstrated excellence in teaching, distinction in research, and collegiality and leadership in his relationships with members of the faculty. He is known to be a demanding yet approachable and enthusiastic teacher who is committed to providing a first-class learning experience for students. Read is also a prolific researcher and is considered a leader in the field of entrepreneurship.
Beyond his teaching and research, Read has taken a leadership role in the Atkinson School’s Personnel Committee, Curriculum and Research Committees. In those roles, he has shown courage and grace in making hard decisions that make the Atkinson School a better place for students, faculty and administrators.
Emily Drew, Associate Professor of Sociology and Ethnic Studies
Emily Drew teaches courses about racism, race and ethnicity, urban sociology, mass media and social change. Her primary areas of research involve understanding how race and racism operate inside of social institutions, particularly higher education, media and urban planning. She is a nationally-recognized expert on anti-racist activism and pedagogy. She is known for both her rigor and her dedication to student success. Colleagues note that Drew’s teaching is an exemplar of student-centered pedagogy.
Drew is also recognized for her tireless dedication to Willamette Academy and has been instrumental in advocating for the program’s continued growth and success.
Lawrence D. Cress Award for Excellence in Faculty Scholarship
Named after a former dean of the College of Liberal Arts, this award recognizes the importance of research to the undergraduate experience. The work done by the recipient is often interdisciplinary in nature and involves joint faculty-student research that creates a seamless connection between the scholar and the teacher.
Scott L. Nadelson, Associate Professor of English, Hallie Ford Chair in Writing
Scott Nadelson has taught English, with a focus on creative writing, at Willamette since 2004. Between 2013 and 2016, he published a novel, thirteen short stories and six essays; two more stories are in the publication pipeline. His books and stories have been honored in numerous ways — as winner of the Reform Judaism Fiction Prize, the Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award and an Oregon Book Award. His work has appeared in a variety of magazines and literary journals, including Ploughshares, The Southern Review, New England Review, Harvard Review, Glimmer Train and Crazyhorse, and his work has been cited as distinguished in both the Best American Short Stories and Best American Essays anthologies.
Robert L. Misner Award for Law Faculty Scholarship
This award was established in memory of former College of Law dean and professor Robert L. Misner in recognition of his innumerable contributions and his commitment to faculty excellence.
Peter Molk, Assistant Professor of Law
Peter Molk joined the Willamette Law faculty in 2014 and has quickly been recognized for his scholarship on both business organizations and insurance law. His research focuses on issues of organizational choice, both in the context of business associations and in insurance markets. His work regarding health insurance cooperatives has garnered national attention. In just three years at Willamette, he has published several pieces in prestigious law reviews, and he’s been selected to present his work at numerous academic institutions, including Columbia, Berkeley and the Stanford/Yale/Harvard Junior Faculty Forum. Molk’s research also informs his teaching and he has enjoyed great success in the classroom as well.
Mortar Board Award for Professor of the Year
This award is presented to a member of the College of Liberal Arts faculty by Willamette University’s undergraduate chapter of Mortar Board, a senior honor society that serves as a resource for high-achieving, motivated students to forge bonds and give back to the community, preparing them for lifelong commitment to service and excellence in scholarship.
Joyce Millen, Associate Professor of Anthropology
Students come to Willamette looking to be inspired by professors who will challenge them in the classroom and inspire them to reach their highest academic and personal goals. Joyce Millen’s commitment to teaching and mentoring her students exemplifies the best qualities of our faculty. Her students praise her for her commitment to academic excellence, her ability to apply the methods of anthropology to real-world problems, her passion for her work, her indefatigable energy, her involvement in the local community and her holistic interest in her students’ academic and personal development.
Many students praised a class on international migration that Millen taught last year. Students conducted research with Salem with service providers for refugees and volunteered in schools with students who are refugees. The class organized a Community Symposium for Immigrant and Refugee Services, which brought the students together with the mayor, state employees, community organizers, advocates, educators, healthcare providers and community members. It is this combination of academic rigor and community engagement, this spirit of collaboration and creativity, that her students hope to carry forward into the world after Willamette.