Walter J. Gores Awards
Faculty Achievement Awards for Excellence in Teaching
The Gores Award is the University's highest award for excellence in teaching. The Walter J. Gores Awards recognize undergraduate and graduate teaching excellence. As the University's highest award for teaching, the Gores Award celebrates achievement in educational activities that include lecturing, tutoring, advising, and discussion leading. Ordinarily, awards are made each year to:
- A senior faculty member (associate or full professor) or a senior lecturer
- A junior faculty member or member of the teaching staff
- A teaching assistant (undergraduate or graduate student)
2018-2019, Daniel Birman, Ph.D. Candidate in Psychology
For building fantastic learning experiences for students, including playful web-based brain simulations that acquaint students with complex ideas; and
For his innovative teaching through lectures and sections that cover links between natural and artificial intelligence and ethical questions raised as science and technology advance; and
For helping his fellow PhDs grow as teachers through his management of the teaching team; and
For developing coursework that routinely exceeds student expectations;
2018-2019, Zephyr Frank, Gild red Professor of Latin American Studies, Professor of History and, by courtesy, of Iberian and Latin American Cultures
For building relationships with each of his students; and
For fostering intellectual curiosity and ambition; and
For welcoming critical discussions and encouraging students to engage as intellectual equals; and
For his remarkable ability and willingness to engage productively with subjects outside of his sphere of interest;
2018-2019, Iris Malone, Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science
For being a role model for what it means to be an innovative researcher and an inspiring mentor; and
For designing curriculum for several multi-day international crisis simulations and mentoring graduate students through the Mentors in Teaching program; and
For outstanding service as a teaching assistant that leads students to actively seek out other courses in which she is a TA; and
For teaching students how to develop original theories to answer complex questions and sharpen their critical thinking skills;
2018-2019, Erin Mordecai, Assistant Professor of Biology
For engaging with students at a high level of intellectual intensity, respect, and belief in their capabilities; and
For viewing teaching as an opportunity for students to explore complex topics at great depth; and
For imparting life lessons and encouraging students to dedicate themselves to their passion; and
For being an inspiring role model for women in science;
2017-18 Michele Elam, Professor of English, the William Robertson Coe Professor, the Olivier Nomellini Family University Fellow in Undergraduate Education, and Director of the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program, Modern Thought and Literature
For her unwavering support of students' dreams, hopes and ambitions;
For her skillful lectures that demonstrate the merit of interdisciplinary engagement with literature;
For fostering a spirit of kindness, respect, debate and humor in the classroom; and
For emphasizing the importance of art, culture and creative expression as means of both understanding and shaping the world.
2017-18 Richard Nevle, Lecturer and Deputy Director of the Earth Systems Program
For his relentless work to deliver the best education for students and to provide insightful and sensitive advice;
For being the ultimate team player to the point of self-effacement;
For motivating students from diverse academic backgrounds to challenge themselves and each other; and
For exhibiting generosity, kindness and insight in advising and teaching.
2017-18 Delaney Sullivan, master’s candidate in computer science
For being relatable, understanding and sympathetic;
For expanding teaching into mentorship;
For his personal dedication and his sacrifices for the good of the students; and
For exemplifying an amazing commitment to learning, teaching and helping students grow.
2016-17 Mike Tomz, Professor of Political Science and Senior Fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research
For being a leader in transforming the undergraduate experience for political science students at Stanford through dynamic content of the highest academic quality;
For the creation and stewardship of the Political Science Summer Research College; and
For being an outstanding, caring, and conscientious teacher who is a model of high expectations and generosity.
2016-17 Dan Reineman, Lecturer in the School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences
For being a knowledgeable, caring, enthusiastic and thoughtful mentor;
For his teaching and participation in the Wrigley Field Program in Hawaii, which facilitated exploration and self-driven discovery for students; and
For being a beacon of light and positivity for students.
2016-17 Kian Katanforoosh, M.S. candidate in management science & engineering
For always maintaining an enthusiastic demeanor that reflects a passion for teaching;
For teaching Introduction to Cryptography and excelling in communication and classroom management; and
For encouraging and inspiring students to develop their own understanding of problems and resolutions.
2015-16 Alberto Salleo, Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering
For his rare combination” of interpersonal skills, technical expertise and generosity of spirit;
For his creative use of technology and other tools that have transformed MSE 204, Thermodynamics and Phase Equilibria – an essential and difficult course – into a fascinating exploration of fundamental materials science and one of the school’s most highly rated courses; and
For his ingenuity in teaching – working with an instructional design team to create a graphic novel to help students become familiar with basic thermodynamic principles and ways of thinking.
2015-16 Stephen P. Boyd, Samsung Professor in the School of Engineering and Professor, by courtesy, of Computer Science and of Management Science and Engineering
For making advanced mathematic topics accessible and interesting to students across disciplines;
For his signature course, Convex Optimization, which attracts more than 300 Stanford students each year, is taught at more than 100 universities and, over the past 20 years has had a profound influence on how researchers and engineers think about convex models to solve problems;
For revolutionizing the way mathematical optimization is taught and applied in engineering and the social and natural sciences worldwide; and
For his new course on linear algebra for freshmen and sophomores – anticipated to become a cornerstone in undergraduate engineering mathematics.
2015-16 John Edward Moalli, Lecturer in Chemical Engineering
For combining academic study with hands-on experience and presentation opportunities and for pushing students to think creatively and develop confidence in public speaking;
For the enthusiastic and innovative teaching that has made Masters of Disaster – an introductory seminar about engineering design – a student favorite;
For fostering teamwork and encouraging students to learn to solve problems as a group; and
For his legendary class trips to the Exponent Test and Engineering Center in Arizona – always carefully planned to coincide with live crash tests and described by students as the ‘best field trip ever.'
2015-16 Lily Lamboy, Ph.D. candidate in political science
For being a strong leader in the classroom, fostering balanced participation so many voices and perspectives are heard on every issue; and
For her deep commitment to pursuing social justice and stimulating civic engagement, thoughtfully challenging and changing the way students think about the world.
2015-16 Yiyang Li, Ph.D. candidate in materials science and engineering
For his generosity as a mentor and for his dedication to improving as a teacher, even practicing his lectures in advance and encouraging feedback;
For his impressive skills of anticipating points of confusion and making clear the traditionally difficult topic of thermodynamics in teaching a 60-student course on batteries; and
For his ability to communicate both specific information and the greater significance of the subject – such as the importance of energy storage for society.