Philosopher, Law Prof Named Top Teachers

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.
Rebecca Copenhaver: Undergraduate Teacher of the Year

This spring, students in the College of Arts and Sciences named Rebecca Copenhaver, professor of philosophy, Teacher of the Year.

Copenhaver’s research focuses on early modern philosophy and philosophy of mind.
In addition to publishing in several prominent philosophy journals, she coauthored From Kant to Croce: Modern Philosophy in Italy, 1800–1950 (University of Toronto Press, 2012) with her father, Brian Copenhaver, a philosophy professor at UCLA. Her current research interests include Thomas Reid’s theory of aesthetic perception and the history of Italian philosophy. She earned her BA from the University of California at Santa Cruz, and her MA and PhD from Cornell University.

“Her demand for philosophical rigor arises from nothing other than an unshakable belief in my and my peers’ ability to participate fully in intellectual discussion,” writes one student nominator. “She maintains a respect both for philosophy, as conceptually complex and frustrating as it is, and the intellectual capacity of her students.”

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

Janet Steverson: Law School’s Leo Levenson Award

Janet Steverson, Douglas K. Newell Professor of Teaching Excellence, won the law school’s Leo Levenson Award.

Steverson’s focus areas include contracts, commercial law, and family law. One of her special interests is children’s rights. She has published on the issues of interspousal tort immunity, children and the law, contracts, and drug-addicted mothers. Her current research addresses consumer warranties. Steverson earned her BA from State University of New York College at Brockport and her JD from Harvard University Law School.

“Professor Steverson has truly perfected the art of teaching,” says one of her students. “She has an exceptional command of the subject matter and explains concepts with clarity, patience, and skill.” Another writes, “She’s clearly a master of the material and loves teaching.”

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.