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University of Oregon

Paul Peppis Honored with Major Teaching Award

May 24, 2012, was a special day for the English Department.  University President Robert Berdahl, Provost Lorraine Davis, Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences Scott Coltrane, and a large group of faculty colleagues, graduate students, and English Department staff descended on PLC 248, where Professor Paul Peppis was in the middle of teaching a class on literary pedagogy.  Peppis and his ten students were somewhat bewildered as the enormous entourage filed into his classroom, but the purpose of this carefully orchestrated disruption became clear when President Berdahl produced a blue Tiffany box containing a crystal apple, the traditional symbol of the Thomas F. Herman Faculty Achievement Award for Distinguished Teaching.  The President commended Paul for his extraordinary dedication to graduate and undergraduate teaching, something his students and colleagues in English have long acknowledged.  Quoting from the comments of students, the President described Peppis’s legendary rigor and intensity as a classroom teacher, and he emphasized the effectiveness of Peppis’s close engagement with student writing. The Herman Award is one of the university’s two awards for teaching distinction.  Recipients must have demonstrated long-standing excellence in teaching and have contributed significantly to student learning at the undergraduate and graduate level