Distinguished Teaching Award

The Distinguished Teaching Award (DTA) was established to recognize faculty members who demonstrate excellence in teaching at Cal Poly. Only students and alumni, those who have been influenced most by faculty, are eligible to submit nominations. Then, a committee of faculty members evaluate nominees based on written documentation and in-class visitations. Awardees are announced at the end of the academic year and are honored by the university at several important end-of-the-year events. 

The 2023-2024 Distinguished Teaching Award Nomination Period is now closed


Any student or alumnus may submit any number of nominations. The nomination must include the faculty member's name, department and supporting statements explaining why the faculty member deserves the award. Selection criteria are listed below:

Selection Criteria:
  • Content and quality of material presented
  • Teaching procedures that contribute to student interest, enthusiasm, achievement, and that stimulates thinking
  • Techniques that show excellence in teaching
  • Innovative instructional approaches
  • A high degree of interaction with students
  • High personal and professional standards
  • Clear and well-organized activities, lectures, or labs
  • Concern for individual student success
  • Fair, rigorous methods for evaluating students' progress, evidence of significant professional development as it relates to teaching excellence

Please Note:

  • Only full-time, tenured faculty members who are teaching during the current academic year and have not previously won the award are eligible.
The Distinguished Teaching Award is supported financially by the Cal Poly Alumni Association.             

2022-2023 Award Recipients

Eric Brussel

Mathematics, BCSM

Scott Eagon

Chemistry and Biochemistry, BCSM

Emily Ryalls

Interdisciplinary Studies in Liberal Arts, CLA

Previous Distinguished Teaching Award Recipients

The Distinguished Teaching Award was established in 1963. Since then, two to five faculty have been recognized for the award each academic year. Below is a comprehensive list of faculty who have won the award since 1990. Remember that previous recipients are not eligible to be nominated again.

Year Name Department College
2021-2022 Anahid Behrouzi Architectural Engineering CAED
  Philip Costanzo Chemistry and Biochemistry BCSM
  Nishanta 'Nishi' Rajakaruna Biological Sciences BCSM
2020-2021 Brad Campbell English CLA
  Francisco Fernflores Philosophy CLA
  Jenn Yost Biological Sciences CSM
2019-2020 Aaron Keen Computer Science CENG
  Matthew Hopper History CLA
2018-19 John Chen Mechanical Engineering CENG
  Dale Clifford Architecture CAED
2017-18 Thomas Fowler Architecture CAED
  Edward Himelblau Biological Sciences CSM
  Francis Villablanca Biological Sciences CSM
2016-17 Brian Kennelly World Languages and Cultures CLA
  Elizabeth Lowham Political Science CLA
  Anthony Mendes Mathematics CSM
2015-16 Karen Christian-Muñoz Modern Languages and Cultures CLA
  Robert Clark Kinesiology CSM
  Soma Roy Statistics CSM
2014-15 Todd Grundmeier Mathematics CSM
  Sandy Stannard Architecture CAED
  Dustin Stegner English CLA
2013-14 Pat Fidopiastis Biological Sciences CSM
  Matthew Moore Political Science CLA
  Camille O'Bryant Kinesiology CSM
2012-13 Seth Bush Chemistry and Biochemistry CSM
  Jaymie Noland Animal Science CAFES
  Dylan Retsek Mathematics CSM
2011-12 Matt Ritter Biological Sciences CSM
  Emily Taylor Biological Sciences CSM
  Umut Toker City and Regional Planning CAED
2010-11 Thomas Davies Music CLA
  Thomas Di Santo Architecture CAED
2009-10 Eric Kantorowski Chemistry and Biochemistry CSM
  Kevin Taylor Kinesiology CSM
2008-09 Josh Machamer Theatre and Dance CLA
  Derek Gragson Chemistry and Biochemistry CSM
2007-08 Michael Fahs Communication Studies CLA
  Michael Lucas Architecture CAED
  Charles "Tad" Miller Accounting OCOB
2006-07 William Fitzhenry English CLA
  Elena Keeling Biological Sciences CSM
  Donald Ryujin Psychology CLA
2005-06 Yarrow Nelson Civil and Environmental Engineering CENG
  Mary Armstrong English/Women's Studies CLA
  Michael Miller Art and Design CLA
2004-05 Fred DePiero Electrical Engineering CENG
  John Hampsey English CLA
  David Headrick Horticulture and Crop Science CAFES
2003-04 Matt Moelter Physics CSM
  Bob Smidt Statistics CSM
  Nanine Van Draanen Chemistry and Biochemistry CSM
2002-03 Alvin De Jong Biological Sciences CSM
  Bernard Duffy Speech Communication CLA
  Linda Vanasupa Materials Engineering CENG
2001-02 Kevin Clark English CLA
  Alyson McLamore Music CLA
  Mark Zohns BioResource and Ag Engineering CAFES
2000-01 Sky Bergman Art and Design CLA
  Phillip Doub Food Science and Nutrition CAFES
  William Martinez Modern Languages and Literature CLA
1999-00 Michael Geringer Global Strategy and Law OCOB
  Brent Hallock Soil Science CAED
  Clint Staley Computer Science CENG
1998-99 Colette Fraybne Global Strategy and Law OCOB
  Carol MacCurdy English CLA
  Leonard Myers Computer Science CENG
1997-98 John Culver Political Science CLA
  Jay DeNatale Civl & Enviornmental Engineering CENG
  David Henry Speech CLA
1996-97 Leonard Davidman UCTE UCTE
  Alfred Landwehr English CLA
  Robert Thompson Agribusiness CAFES
1995-96 David Keeling Chemistry & Biochemistry CSM
  John G. Russell Music CLA
  Richard Simon English CLA
1994-95 Ronald F. Brown Physics CSM
  Lee Burgunder Global Strategy and Law OCOB
  Nancy Lucas English CLA
1993-94 William Little Modern Languages & Literatures CLA
  Steven Marx English CLA
  Raymond Nakamura P.E. and Kinesiology CSM
1992-93 Susan Duffy Speech Communication CLA
  Donald Maas UCTE UCTE
  Charles Slem Psyc. & Human Development CLA
1991-92 Mary Pedersen Food Science & Nutrition CAFES
  Joh Snetsinger History CLA
  Fred Stultz Psyc. & Human Development CLA
1990-91 Jay Devoore Statistics OCOB
  Linda Halisky English CLA
  Ann Morgan Psyc. & Human Development CLA
  Jim Simek Chemistry CSM

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