Dizikes Faculty Teaching Award 2019-20 


The Dizikes Faculty Teaching Award celebrates Humanities Division faculty commitment to excellence in teaching, and its transformative impact for undergraduate students.

The award is named in honor of Professor Emeritus John Dizikes, a member of the founding faculty whose powerful ability to inspire and engage generations of students exemplifies our aspirations as teachers. (Photo UC Santa Cruz)



young_gary.jpgGARY YOUNG
Literature/Creative Writing Program
Recipient of the 2019-20 Dizikes Faculty Teaching Award

"The pedagogical philosophy I employ teaching Creative Writing at UCSC springs from a simple but fundamental truth about my students: there is no way to determine which of them will eventually become accomplished, recognized writers. Some students appear to be prodigies, while others struggle. Experience has proven that the prodigy may lose interest or hit a plateau in their artistic growth; the struggling student may simply be a late bloomer who comes to poetry slowly but irrevocably. Because it is impossible to predict which, if any of my students might be destined to become great poets, I have to presume that all of them are budding poetic geniuses, and I teach each individual student accordingly. The essence of my teaching practice is straightforward and uncomplicated: I take my students’ work seriously.

Before I begin teaching any class, I ask myself the same question: Is this a course I would like to have taken when I was a student? I work hard to ensure that my answer is yes. I embrace the responsibility of in loco parentis, and I try to treat each of my students the way I would hope professors have treated my own children, with compassion, honesty, and dedication."