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Caitlin Patler and Laura Grindstaff selected for Distinguished Teaching Awards

Professors Caitlin Patler and Laura Grindstaff have been selected as winners for this year's Distinguished Teaching Award in the Undergraduate and Graduate/Professional categories, respectively. 

Professor Patler is recognized for her excellent teaching in sociology, particularly with immigration topics. In a public sociological tradition, her teaching and mentoring contextualizes individual experiences within broader social structures and processes, and she connects the real world with the classroom in important ways. She combines coursework with research, having mentored 48 undergraduate students in various projects, such as undergraduate research with the UC Immigrant Legal Services Center (UCIMM) and through the MURALS program. Many of her undergraduate students go onto graduate school, work in government, and work in non-profit sectors.

Professor Grindstaff is recognized for her remarkable contributions to graduate teaching and mentorship. Her popular classes on cultural sociology and intersectionality introduce students to both classic and contemporary research on these important topics. Critically, in her students’ words, she also imparts “the importance of respecting the voices and perspectives of historically marginalized peoples” and encourages them to ask deep questions about their own responsibilities within the research process. Furthermore, even though it is uncommon in her field and she receives little research-related credit, she provides considerable feedback and guidance to students so that they can pursue their own independent research projects.