2017 Distinguished Teaching Award
Friday, March 10, 2017
Posted by: Christina Yoshimura
By Donna Gotch, Committee Chair
The Distinguished Teaching Award is given each year to a deserving faculty member who has made a significant contribution to the quality of teaching in the communication field in institutions in the Western region. Recipients must demonstrate teaching that rises above and beyond the craft of teaching to a sustained performance in pedagogy.
In a nomination letter in support of our recipient, the president of the college where our recipient teaches stated, “The diversity of his teaching experience speaks volumes about his student-centered focus driven by the motto, “Meet students where they are”. This mission has lead this year’s recipient overseas as a visiting professor in Japan, into high school classrooms for Dual Enrollment programs, onto military installations for aspiring military students, into the rural communities to reach underserved students populations and most notably into California Department of Correction and Rehabilitation facilities. The work he does inside the prisons is phenomenal but that doesn’t overshadow his unwavering commitment to his students in traditional classroom settings.”
Our recipient has chosen to dedicate himself to elevating the quality of instruction to underserved and vulnerable populations in California’s Central Valley. He is one of the first instructors to teach in the Bakersfield College Inmate Education Program. He teaches public speaking and other communication courses to inmates at Kern Valley and North Kern Valley Maximum Security State Prisons.
In another nomination letter written in support of this year’s recipient one of his colleagues wrote, “Let me be clear that he volunteered for the Inmate Education program; his service comes with a significant risk to his personal safety and at the sacrifice of time with his family. His dedication to pedagogy and his commitment to serving at-risk populations are evidenced in his continued participation and pedagogical innovation in this program.”
This year’s recipient embodies the qualities of excellence in pedagogy not only in traditional classroom settings but also in classrooms that most of us could not imagine.
This year’s Distinguished Teaching Award recipient is: Bryan Hirayama, Bakersfield College