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Karam Dana receives University of Washington Bothell 2018 Distinguished Teaching Award
BOTHELL, Washington — Karam Dana is the recipient of the 2018 University of Washington Bothell Distinguished Teaching Award, one of the University’s highest honors.
Dana, an assistant professor in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, joined the faculty in 2012. In recommending him for the award, the award selection committee cited Dana's focus on reciprocity, rigor, empathy and learning, as well as courses that resonate with students who care about social justice, fairness and equality.
“Karam has consistently performed at the highest level and fully represents the high value that faculty at UW Bothell place on teaching and learning,” said Chancellor Wolf Yeigh in making the announcement.
Created in 1995, the UW Bothell Distinguished Teaching Award 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.
The award carries a $5,000 honorarium. Dana will be honored at awards ceremonies and recognized at the UW Bothell commencement ceremony.
“I feel this award is for the students. I feel that I have accomplished a mission to gain the attention of students and fellow colleagues in advancing knowledge for them to change their own communities,” Dana said. “To me, it’s not a personal award. It takes a lot collaborative work for the learning process to work.”
Dana uses multiple teaching strategies: case studies, debate, reflective essays and small group discussions rooted in real-world challenges. Courses he has taught include Middle East Politics, Islam and Muslims in Western Contexts, U.S. Foreign Policy and Approaches to Social Research.
Such topics are relevant to students because the Middle East is frequently in the news, and many students are international citizens or have international friends, Dana said.
“It’s important to understand what is happening day to day. Also, understanding other social-political contexts helps them understand their own social-political situation,” Dana said. “I strive to foster empathy as well as discovery.”
Dana, who earned his doctorate at the UW in 2009 in Near and Middle Eastern studies, is the director of the American Muslim Research Institute. His research explores Middle East public opinion and Palestinian socio-economic conditions under Israeli occupation. “I am a scholar first and foremost.”
Dana also serves as the faculty adviser to the Muslim Students Association. “Due to my background as a Muslim, a Palestinian, an immigrant and a refugee, Arab American and Muslim American students seek my advice regularly on a wide range of issues, including future plans for graduate school and careers,” Dana said. “I am humbled that students of multiracial and multicultural identities and backgrounds tend to seek my advice. They understand that I know the challenges they face, due to my personal history.”
Dana hates to ever miss a class and says he always seems to run out of time.
“These are magical moments. These are moments where there’s an opportunity for connections that cannot be had under any other circumstances.”
About UW Bothell: UW Bothell provides access to an exceptional University of Washington education to students in a campus environment that fosters student achievement. Offering more than 55 undergraduate and graduate degrees, options, certificates and concentrations, UW Bothell builds regional partnerships, inspires change, creates knowledge, shares discoveries and prepares students for leadership in the state of Washington and beyond.