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Theatre Prof, Law Prof Named Top Teachers

October 13, 2015

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 Lingafelter: Undergraduate Teacher of the Year

This spring, students in the College of Arts and Sciences named Rebecca Lingafelter, assistant professor of theatre, Teacher of the Year.

Lingafelter joined Lewis & Clark in 2012 and teaches voice, movement, acting, contemporary performance, and directing. Active in the Portland theatre community, she is a founding member of the Portland Experimental Theatre Ensemble. She earned her B.A from the University of California at San Diego and her M.F.A. from Columbia University.

“Rebecca regularly takes the time to work closely with her students,” writes one student nominator. “Her dedication and investment in her students, as well as her care for their well-being and personal and artistic growth, sets her apart.

She is passionate about theatre, and sincerely believes that her students are capable of entering the profession and bettering the performance industry.”

Aliza Kaplan: Law School’s Leo Levenson Award

Aliza Kaplan, professor of lawyering and director of the Criminal Justice Reform Clinic, won the law school’s Leo Levenson Award.

Kaplan is the cofounder of the Oregon Innocence Project, an organization that works to exonerate the wrongfully convicted. She works regularly on wrongful conviction cases, represents the Oregon Innocence Project in the community, and is an active board member of the Oregon Justice Resource Center. She earned her B.A. from George Washington University and her J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law.

Brittney Plesser, a class of 2015 graduate, presented the award at commencement.

“Professor Kaplan’s credentials as an advocate and professor are impressive,” says Plesser. “She is the recipient of this award because she does not just teach the words; she really lives them. After years of working to reform the criminal justice system and help those whom it has wronged, she is still optimistic about the future of criminal justice and works each day to make it a fairer system. She is also the recipient of this award because she is deeply passionate about her students and tenacious in her efforts to help them succeed.” 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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