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Digital Cinema’s Andrew Gay Wins Distinguished Teaching Award

For the third year in a row, and fourth time overall, a faculty member affiliated with the Communication Program has won Southern Oregon University’s Distinguished Teaching Award. Associate Professor Andrew Gay secured the honor by vote of the Faculty Senate on Feb. 22.

Behind the scenes of remote instruction with Andrew Gay

Winners of the Distinguished Teaching Award emerge from a careful review of nominees by a committee of faculty colleagues from multiple programs at SOU. Up to four teaching honors are awarded each year.

“It was clear from the beginning of class that students were engaged with the content of script writing, their classmates, and Professor Gay,” wrote Education professor Nigel Waterton in his recommendation of Gay’s nomination. “It was also clear to me that in the midst of this meaningful work, students enjoyed being there.”

For Gay, the intersection of a focus on film production with the welcoming culture at SOU has enabled him to express his personal values in his teaching here.

“SOU is a very student-centered university, which has allowed me to teach production topics in a more human-centered way,” Gay said. “When I went to film school, we heard a lot of the industry is a viper pit, just suck it up and get used to it from my faculty. Fortunately, the industry culture is changing, and I think my students and I are actively participating in making that change happen as we learn new and better methods of creative collaboration.”

Gay further emphasized his commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion as essential elements of his teaching practice, also contributing to this year’s honor.

“A guiding light in my teaching of the past several years has been EDIT Media’s (Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Teaching Media) EDIT 10 best practices for teaching media production,” Gay said. “For all of my classes, I’m working hard to make sure I’m cultivating an equitable and inclusive environment that represents diverse points-of-view on the topics we’re exploring. This has had an enormous positive impact on my students and my interactions with them.”

Other SOU faculty honored with Distinguished Teaching Awards this year include Brian Fedorek and Shanell Sanchez, both professors in the Criminology and Criminal Justice program.

Among Communication Program faculty, prior winners of the Distinguished Teaching Award include Erica Knotts (2020), Precious Yamaguchi (2019) and Alena Ruggerio (2017).

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Comm, Media & Cinema @ Southern Oregon University

Earn BA/BS Degrees and Certificates in Communication Studies, Social Media & Public Engagement, or Digital Cinema @SOUAshland. #ThatIsSOU