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Art Historian, Law Prof Named Top Teachers

September 16, 2011

  • Dawn Odell
    Dawn Odell
  • Doug Newell
    Doug Newell

Each year, students from the College of Arts and Sciences and Lewis & Clark Law School reflect on the extraordinary teaching of their respective professors and select one for top teaching honors.

Dawn Odell: Undergraduate Teacher of the Year

This spring, students in the College of Arts and Sciences named Dawn Odell, assistant professor of art history, Teacher of the Year. She specializes in Chinese and early modern European art. Student nominators cited her compassion, her enthusiasm about the subjects she teaches, her willingness to help students, and her expert knowledge as reasons why they felt she should be recognized.

“[Professor Odell’s] knowledge of and passion for the field of art history, especially within her area of expertise, and the excitement with which she shares her knowledge and passion are unparalleled,” one student wrote.

“Her inviting demeanor encourages students like myself to challenge ourselves, to go above and beyond to prepare for every class, and to make that a standard,” another student wrote.

In addition to this campus recognition, Odell received national honors this spring, including a grant from the American Philosophical Society in support of her research on Chinese and European influences on the material culture and society of the Dutch East Indies, which she will be conducting in London and Amsterdam. Odell also received a Robert L. Platzman Memorial Fellowship from the University of Chicago Library to conduct additional research in the university’s Special Collections Research Center.

The Teacher of the Year is named each year by members of the Pamplin Society of Fellows, who solicit nominations from undergraduate students.

Doug Newell: Law School’s Leo Levenson Award

Doug Newell, Belsheim Professor of Law, won the law school’s Leo Levenson Award for Teaching Excellence.

“Professor Newell’s courses are always riveting, regardless of the topic. He knows how to help students break down the law into its most basic elements and then reassemble them into an organized coherent whole—a very rare skill,” said a student nominator. Another student noted his supportive and patient demeanor: “I always felt he truly wanted his students to succeed. Best prof ever, hands down.”

Newell earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School. He teaches contracts, contract theory, secured transactions, and entertainment law.

The law school’s teaching award is named for Leo Levenson, who was a distinguished Oregon attorney and a highly respected instructor at the law school for many years. It is presented annually to a faculty member selected by the graduating class.

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