2015 Distinguished Teaching Award Recipient

Since joining the UWB faculty, Dr. Wayne Au has consistently been an outstanding mentor, teacher and citizen. Dr. Au clearly rose to the top with a compelling dossier that included a package of letters from undergraduate students and his fellow faculty members.

Dr. Au joined the UW Bothell faculty in 2010 as Assistant Professor in the Education Program (now School) and since then has consistently proven himself as an outstanding and successful teacher, mentor, and colleague.  Wayne Au’s recognized success as an instructor in the School of Educational Studies.

Dr. Au’s commitment to the students most at risk dates back to his teen years, when he worked with Upward Bound children, and throughout his career in the public schools in Berkeley, California and in Seattle, where he taught pupils who had dropped out of high school. 

At UW Bothell, Dr. Au’s pedagogical success stems principally from his commitment to engaging students wherever they are developmentally, be they conditionally-accepted first-year students in the Academic Transition Program (ATP) – primarily lower-SES and students of color and/or first-generation college students – traditional undergraduates, or master’s students.  He has integrated classroom teaching and mentorship to an exceptional degree.  We were astonished and impressed that all nineteen members of this year’s ATP collectively nominated Dr. Au for the Distinguished Teaching Award.  We saw further evidence of prowess in student engagement in his essay on teaching historical role-play in a volume on social studies and diversity education, evidencing his national stature as a teacher-scholar.

Dr. Au’s colleagues in the School of Educational Studies corroborate his students’ perception of him as a gifted teacher stating: 

“Wayne has qualities as a classroom teacher that attracts students to learn more than they thought they could and allows the students to realize the strength of their learning while they are learning.  Students leave his classes wanting more, and Educational studies and I have benefited in significant ways from Wayne’s teaching.”

They note Dr. Au’s nationally-recognized expertise in multicultural studies and diversity in education in both K-12 and higher education contexts:

“I have been in Teacher Education for more than two decades and have never before had a colleague that had the skill and commitment to multicultural education and social justice.”

Dr. Au’s achievements in multicultural education directly benefit student learning on campus.  As Chair of that Diversity Council, his leadership has earned the respect and admiration of faculty, staff, and students, and he has been instrumental in calling attention to ways in which the curriculum and co-curriculum can, through mindful, and sophisticated considerations of diversity, robustly support student experiences inside and outside the classroom.

Wayne has consistently performed at the highest level and fully represents the values that faculty and students at the University of Washington Bothell have for teaching and learning.