A few of our favorite professors

Ever wonder how much difference a great teacher can make in a student’s life? Then check out these responses to a question we posted to our Facebook followers last fall: Who is or was your favorite professor?

Raghav Desai took two classes from music professor Loren Kajikawa (pictured above) — history of hip-hop and music of the Americas — “and both were exceptional.”

“Dude is a boss,” Desai said.
 
James Camacho said philosophy professor Grant Silva was the “coolest and best professor.”
“I learned so much!”

Kenny Short said he learned from astronomy professor Robert Zimmerman that “we are all made of star dust!”
 
Anne Laskaya
Christine Logan said English professor Anne Laskaya was the most fun professor she ever had

“She keeps things interesting and checks numerous times to see if anyone has questions about the material,” Logan said. “I hope I can take a class with her again.”

 
 
Dennis Galvan
Antonia DeMichiel said Dennis Galvan, professor of international studies and political science, is “phenomenal,” and in particular, his course, “Perspectives on International Development,” challenged how she thinks about the concept of development.
 
“He expects a lot of students, but also challenges the conventions of academia in a healthy and balanced way. And his lectures are like theatrical performances. The passion in his voice will surely make you care about the subject. Every UO student should be required to take this class in order to have a more global view of the world!”
 
Kirsten Riley Larwin called professeur Alexandre Albert-Galtier “the best French professor!”
 
Bruce Blonigen
Jay Brown like economics professor Bruce Blonigen, for his willingness to “always stay past his office hours! Super dope!”
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pam Birrell
Elizabeth Wallace said psychology senior instructor Pam Birrell was her favorite, by far.

“Her passion for opening students' eyes to alternative methods of healing psychiatric ailments was evident in every chapter we read and every assignment we completed,” Wallace said. “She was easily the most accessible professor I ever had, with office hours that were convenient and was always willing to meet her students outside of those hours.”
 
 
 
 
Mike WehrTara Torassa Gilbert said psychology professor Mike Wehr “provides students with a prepared, interesting, thought-provoking lecture and really encourages them to delve deeper. His attitude in class is one of respect. He makes students feel important and able to push past their current knowledge!”
 
 
 
 
 
 
Deborah BaumgoldJonathan Marks said political science professor Deborah Baumgold was an advisor and a mentor when he was in school. As a student with a learning disability, Marks said Baumgold “made it easy for me to learn complex theories and was accomodating in all respects.”
 

If not for Baumgold, Marks said he would not have gone to earn a master’s degree in public administration.

 
 
 
Philip Scher
Blair Galick said anthropology professor Philip Scher “is the best … hands down, ask anyone!”
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sandy Bonds
Sarah Loney said theater arts professor Alexandra “Sandy” Bonds “got me completely hooked on costuming.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
Lynn Westlund said of biology professor Herb Wisner: “The man rocked — taught me biology!”

Patti Gwartney
Maurita Ryan Johnson said sociology professor Patti Gwartney “was just what I needed … when I was a dumb unfocused undergrad. A lot stuck even if it didn't appear so 30 years ago.”
 


 
 
 
William Bradshaw
Marnee Chua said biology professor William Bradshaw was “a fun, engaging, and zany teacher who I can remember clearly 17 years later, for sending helpful materials while I was in the Peace Corps, and for being welcoming to a struggling student!”
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Jim Klonoski
John McMahon said the late Jim Klonoski was the “best poli-sci prof the school has ever had, (even though he was a Michigan fan!).”
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Richard Taylor
Chelsea Klocke said physics professor Richard Taylor is “a freakin' rock star. Too bad I still hate physics.”
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Benjamin Saunders
Ashley Reed named English literature professor Ben Saunders. “I could tell you how fascinating, thought-provoking, and engaging his lectures are,” she wrote, “or I could tell you that he managed consistently high attendance rates for a class that ran three hours, on Friday, starting at 2 p.m.

 
 
 
Jim Mogan reached back in time to remember three history professors who inspired and influenced him. “Gus Alef was not only a mentor, but a friend (and my best friend's dad), and inspired my life long quest into the depths of Byzantine and Medieval Russian history and Orthodox theology. As for Paul Dull, his ‘Battle History of the Imperial Japanese Navy’ has been a fixture on my office bookshelf since it was first published. Talking to him about the Pacific War was an adventure. Roger Chickering: What did the Library ever do with the microfilm copy of the ‘Hauptarchiv der NSDAP’ covering 1929-1931 he and I got them to get from the Hoover Institute in the spring of '72 so I could write my paper on the Stennes Mutiny?”
 
Eric Wills
Danielle Hayden called Eric Wills “by far the most professional, knowledgable, and helpful professor I've ever had. He taught CIS 122 so well that I could understand basic programming and algorithms successfully without any previous experience.”
 
 
 
 

Catherine Page
Finally, Ryan Stasel praised chemistry professor Catherine Page: “Best class I ever had! Professional, friendly, and extremely knowledgeable!”