teacher in front of classroom with a student hand raised

Inspiring a World of Learning: Outstanding Service Award Recipients

Exceptional Educators are at the Heart of Continuing Education

Every two years UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education honors outstanding instructors and program partners for their distinctive service and commitment to education. Whatever their background—academia, private industry or public service—these educators have a passion for what they do, and by sharing their experience and knowledge, have transformed the lives of students across our organization.

The Winners

Winners of the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 award cycle are: 

headshot of Tom RichardsonTom Richardson, Custom Training and Service, Human Services

“Sometimes, a class feels like a flop. It just doesn’t feel like I’ve made much impact. About a year ago I had one of those classes, but one person stuck around and when everyone left, she said that the class had been the best she’d ever had and that it had completely inspired and energized her. Sometimes you just can’t tell when you’re doing good stuff, but, as long as you keep making your best effort, you’re good.”



headshot of Nancy NicholsNancy Nichols, Project Management

“The most important thing I've learned is how much we as instructors can learn from our students. The opportunity to interact with students of diverse backgrounds and experiences expands our own horizons. I find that I learn many things that I end up passing on to future classes.”



headshot of Leslie FreemanLeslie Freeman, Clinical Lab Science

“I love to see the lightbulb go on when a student finally grasps a tough concept and can translate that to clinical work.”




instructor Amy McClena and horseAmy McLean, Equine Science

“As an instructor, I don’t know everything and on a daily basis students inspire me to be better at teaching, as well as continue to challenge my knowledge, which makes me continue to learn.”



headshot of Tony OliverTony Oliver, Business Analysis and Project Management

“Knowledge in one's mind, by itself, does little. Knowledge shared, on the other hand, has an exponential effect.”



headshot of Sadie St. LawrenceSadie St. Lawrence, Technology and Information Management

“Always take time to listen to your students. We all learn by having more perspectives and voices in the room.”



headshot of Michele Aprina LeavyMichele Apriña Leavy, Theater and Dance, Global Study Program

“Education can be an electrifying exchange between teachers and students, where both embark on a process of discovery.”


headshot of Romain NelsenRomain Nelsen, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

"As a partner for OLLI, these are especial among milestones to treasure: cinching endowed financial support of the Osher Foundation; expanding courses and membership; and meeting, assisting, collaborating and making friends with members of such extraordinary wisdom, intellect and character as to inspire.”


headshot of Dawn KarnerDawn Karner, Professional Coaching for Life and Work

“I figured out about 15+ years ago that my life purpose was all about sharing knowledge and information to others. I get a real satisfaction from seeing people grow and find their 'ah ha' moments.”



headshot of Mary OrrMary Orr, Custom Training and Services, Human Services

“No matter how big or small, the hope is for each participant to walk away from the time spent with something of significance to them. Even more exciting is when participants come to the realization that they often already possess the skills and abilities they are working so hard to develop.”




headshot of Patrick GreerPatrick Greer, Brewing

“What motivates me is to connect with students as individuals and learn about their curiosity and desire to learn. My goal is to help them understand the concepts and subject matter. When I ask a question, I’m not usually looking for the “the answer” but interested in the discussion and questions that come up about the topic we’re discussing. My best teaching moments are when all the students are engaged in the discussion and sharing comments and ideas among their peers.”

Chris Bowles, Planning and Sustainability
Chris Hammersmark, Planning and Sustainability
Grady Wann, Winemaking
Jerry Apodaca, Occupational Health and Safety, Fire Sciences
Carl Rabun, Custom Training and Services, Human Services
Pablo Carrillo, Resource Center for Family-Focused Practice, Human Services
Joye Beachum, Business Analysis
Brenda Turner, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute
Marvin Goldman, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

The Criteria

Outstanding Service Award recipients are nominated by CPE’s program representatives and meet the following criteria: 

  • Two or more years of service for CPE – in teaching, program and curriculum development or in developing and sustaining effective, productive program partnerships.
  • Consistently high to excellent teaching evaluations; or measure of valuable program development; or successful outcomes of program partnerships.
  • Assistance in recruiting new teachers or in developing new organizational partnerships for CPE
  • Consistently good working or cooperative relationship with CPE
  • Demonstrated commitment to continuing education and teaching
  • Participation in extra-curricular activities for CPE (such as participation at CPE open houses, membership on advisory committees for conference or other curriculum areas)

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