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Outstanding Educators

May 15, 2014

  • From Left to Right: Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Tuajuanda Jordan, Professor of Biology Kellar Autumn, Professor of Philosophy Rebecca Copenhaver, Lorry Lokey, Assistant Professor of Music Katherine FitzGibbon, and President Barry Glassner.

Our faculty have long been known for their innovative approaches to instruction and ongoing commitment to working closely with students. This spring a number of professors were honored with the latest in a string of awards highlighting Lewis & Clark’s commitment to excellence in teaching and research.

Lorry Lokey Faculty Excellence Award Winners

Professor of Biology Kellar Autumn, Professor of Philosophy Rebecca “Becko” Copenhaver, and Assistant Professor of Music Katherine FitzGibbon have received recognition for their inspired teaching, rigorous scholarship, demonstrated leadership, and creative accomplishments.

Established by a grant from philanthropist Lorry Lokey through the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, this honor helps sustain the college’s commitment to recruiting, retaining, and rewarding outstanding faculty through public recognition and financial support.

Teacher of the Year

Students have named Assistant Professor of Mathematics Paul T. Allen the 2014 Teacher of the Year for the College of Arts and Sciences. The award has been bestowed on faculty by the undergraduate student body since 1993.

Learn more about our exceptional educators below.

Paul T. Allen

Allen, who joined Lewis & Clark’s Department of Mathematical Sciences in 2010, specializes in geometric analysis and mathematical relativity. He earned his bachelor of science degree at the University of Puget Sound, and his M.S. and PhD at the University of Oregon.

Kellar Autumn

Autumn’s research focuses on the intersection of biology (biomechanics), engineering (contact mechanics and materials science), and physics (intermolecular and interfacial forces). He earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics and biology at the University of California at Santa Cruz and his PhD in integrative biology at UC Berkeley. Autumn joined the faculty of Lewis & Clark’s biology department in 1998. The recipient of a National Science Foundation Special Creativity Award, he has published over 60 scientific papers and has received worldwide acclaim for his research on adhesion in geckos and the discovery of the world’s first dry self-cleaning adhesive.

Rebecca “Becko” Copenhaver

Copenhaver, who specializes in 18th-century British philosophy, instructs students in Lewis & Clark’s first-year core curriculum program, Exploration and Discovery. In the philosophy department, she also teaches courses such as Introduction to Philosophy, Early Modern Philosophy, Philosophy of Mind, and Philosophy of Language. Copenhaver joined the faculty at Lewis & Clark in 2001. She holds a BA from the University of California at Santa Cruz, and earned her M.A. and PhD at Cornell University. She is the author of numerous research publications and was named Teacher of the Year in 2013. 

Katherine FitzGibbon

FitzGibbon conducts the Lewis & Clark choirs, teaches music history and conducting, and serves as chair of the music department. She is also the artistic director of Resonance Ensemble and head of faculty at the summer Berkshire Choral Festival. FitzGibbon has presented her research at both U.S. and international conferences. In 2012, she received a Deutsche Akademische Austauschdienst fellowship (the German equivalent of a Fulbright) to conduct further research in Berlin on the use of historicism and German nationalism in requiems by Brahms, Reger, and Distler, and the links between monumental choral music and the Third Reich. In 2012 she also led Capella Nova, the college’s premier mixed choir, on a tour of Egypt.

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