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Distinguished Teaching Award to Silva

Janelle Silva

Janelle Silva, Ph.D., is the recipient of the University of Washington Bothell’s 2016 Distinguished Teaching Award. Silva is an assistant professor of community psychology in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences.

The selection committee was impressed with the number of former students who nominated Silva for the award.

“The common theme was the inspiration to achieve their greatest potential as students and as people,” the committee wrote. “Her impact has been especially evident among young women of color, individuals who otherwise can feel especially alienated on a college campus.”

“Dr. Silva has consistently proven herself as an outstanding and successful teacher, mentor, and colleague,” says Chancellor Wolf Yeigh. “Students leave her classes prepared to lead positive change in the community and throughout the region.” 

Silva says her teaching is designed to challenge students about social context, power and privilege and then take their knowledge “to the streets.”

“It is my goal that all students leave my class and put theory into practice by taking the skills and knowledge they have acquired to be a part of future change,” she says.

Silva’s research examines the role of schools in how they facilitate questions of power, privilege, equity, identity, and social justice in young people. She also asks what shifts are needed to construct an environment where young people are motivated toward social action within the structural barriers of the institution. Silva’s students have been a force for social change on campus.

“I truly believe that classrooms can be a space of transformation for both students and faculty,” she says. “I hope to continue to build our campus community for the better by collaborating with students on class projects that are inherently tied to UW Bothell's mission to diversity.”

Silva’s students have been a force for social change on campus.

Silva came to UW Bothell in 2012 and has a doctorate from the University of California, Santa Cruz in social psychology with an emphasis in feminist theory.

The UW Bothell Distinguished Teaching Award, created in 1995, is presented each year to a faculty member who has demonstrated sustained excellence in teaching, exemplifying what it means to fulfill the academic mission of the University of Washington Bothell.