Digital Cinema’s Christopher Lucas Wins Southern Oregon University’s Distinguished Teaching Award for 2023

For the fifth time out of the last seven years, a member of the full-time faculty in the Communication, Media & Cinema program has earned Southern Oregon University’s Distinguished Teaching Award. SOU’s faculty senate recently confirmed the nomination of Assistant Professor Christopher Lucas for the annual honor.

SOU Distinguished Teaching Award is given to a faculty member who demonstrates exceptional teaching skills and provides invaluable guidance and mentorship to students. In his five years at SOU, Lucas has connected with and inspired students through his passion for film and considerable technical expertise.

Award-winning educator Christopher Lucas (left) announces an award winner at the 2022 SOU Student Film Festival/photo by Avery Jackson

“Feeling like your professor has confidence in you and your team to take the things you’ve learned and make something of them is inspiring,” said Shelby Huggins, a Digital Cinema major at SOU. “Chris Lucas empowers and motivates us, he not only gives us the tools to succeed, but trusts us to use those tools and foster growth.”

In addition to his work as a professor and mentor, Lucas was also a major contributor to the launch of SOU’s Digital Cinema major in 2019. As one of the department’s primary instructors, Lucas teaches a wide variety of Digital Cinema classes, ranging from general education to the year-long senior capstone program.

“His teaching style allows room to breathe but requires you to be self-driven and manage the work in whatever way works for you,” said Steven Minich, a senior in the Digital Cinema program. “I appreciate his open support and honest feedback in whatever discussion is going on. He also does not just offer insights and lessons, but allows for genuine discussion between students that feels organic.”

Lucas is also a fierce proponent of sustainability and inclusion, both inside and outside of the classroom. Lucas has been a long-time advocate of EDIT Media’s best practices for inclusion and accessibility when teaching and selecting course content. He was also nationally recognized for his contributions to consent and bystander intervention strategies during the #MeToo movement.

In addition to the Distinguished Teaching Award, Lucas has previously received the Raider Academy Award for Outstanding Faculty Leadership and the QRC’s Collaborative Excellence Award for his work in inclusive teaching and combating harassment in the film industry.

“Chris Lucas is a wonderful facilitator of a safe, inclusive, and conducive learning space,” said Minich. “I know I have a voice when I step into his class, but I am also genuinely interested in what others have to say. He makes sure everyone is one the same page and works diligently with those who need to get caught up.”

Among CMC faculty, prior winners of the Distinguished Teaching Award include Andrew Gay (2021), Erica Knotts (2020), Precious Yamaguchi (2019) and Alena Ruggerio (2017).

Story by Ripley Pierotti, Community Manager for the Communication, Media & Cinema Program at Southern Oregon University.



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