Yoshiko Reynolds Named Teacher of the Year
Instructor in Japanese Yoshiko Reynolds is the 2023 Teacher of the Year.
by Mackenzie Kier BA ’26
Lewis & Clark’s Pamplin Society of Fellows has named Yoshiko Reynolds, instructor in Japanese, the 2023 Teacher of the Year. This annual award aims to honor an undergraduate faculty member who goes above and beyond the duties of their position to enrich student learning.
Reynolds, who was born and raised in Japan, earned her BA in Japanese history in her home country. For 12 years, she worked with international students at the University of Tokyo and also specialized in teaching Japanese language with an emphasis on Japanese cultural heritage. In 2014, Reynolds came to the United States and later earned her master’s degree in higher education management from New Mexico State University. In addition to her work in higher education, she has served as a cultural program manager at the Portland Japanese Garden. Reynolds joined Lewis & Clark in fall 2020.
Reynolds enjoys not only teaching her native language but also incorporating interesting cultural and historical perspectives into her classes. One student nominator wrote, “the extra work that she puts into her Japanese classes shows just how much she wants us not only to do well in her class, but to also really learn to speak Japanese. Because of her constant support, my classmates and I are encouraged to work as hard as we can in her class. And we know that we won’t be ridiculed if we make mistakes or take risks.”
In addition to Reynolds, this year’s finalists included:
- Benjamin David, associate professor of art history
- Sharon Torigoe, assistant professor of biology
- Laura Vinson, associate professor of international affairs
The process for naming the Teacher of the Year is entirely student driven, from nomination through selection. The first award was made in 1994.