Williams Council announces three 2018-19 fellows

Claudia Holguín, Michelle McKinley and Anita Chari

Three University of Oregon faculty members have been awarded 2018-19 Williams Fellowships.

Anita Chari, Claudia Holguin and Michelle McKinley were honored by the Williams Council for their dedication and commitment to innovative undergraduate education.

Chari is an associate professor of political science. She is a political theorist with a commitment to innovative teaching methods.

Since arriving at the UO in 2011, she has been a key faculty member teaching with Inside Out, a prison education program that brings UO students inside correctional institutions to take courses alongside students who are incarcerated.

Chari is known for taking an experiential approach to the study of politics, often including practices such as contemplation and meditation in the classroom.

“The students praise her insight, passion and drive; they are energized by her teaching style and are challenged by the range and depth of the readings and exercises that she assigns,” said Shaul Cohen, director of the UO’s prison education program. “Anita’s classes make an enduring impression upon her students, and they note that she is deeply committed to the course and to them.”

Holguín is an assistant professor of Spanish linguistics in the Department of Romance Languages and founding director of Spanish Heritage Language Program, which expands the typical instruction offered by language learning programs at the UO.

Holguín uses language as an expression of cultural identity for Latino students. Her approach emphasizes acknowledging the cultural and linguistic significance of the colloquial Spanish spoken in students’ home environments, as well as developing linguistic and cultural fluency relevant to post-graduate life and professional pathways.

According to Lee Rumbarger, assistant vice provost for teaching engagement, “(Holguín) is brilliant, an experienced teacher of teachers and is especially gifted at helping students come to see their own histories and experiences as assets in university settings.”

McKinley is the Bernard B. Kliks Professor of Law at the UO School of Law and one of the driving forces behind the law school’s undergraduate legal studies program. She is also the director of the Center for the Study of Women and Society.

McKinley’s undergraduate courses focus on questions of citizenship, immigration and human rights. She also teaches courses on public international law and issues at the intersection of law, culture and society.

“(McKinley) challenges students to think through issues of citizenship, political membership and belonging, and to confront their own deeply held positions and those that need greater reflection,” said Marcilynn Burke, dean of the Law School. “McKinley explores with her students the implications of certain political choices for those who may be undocumented, from mixed-status families or from nontraditional backgrounds.”  

The Williams Council awards fellowships to a small number of faculty members each year based on nominations received through a campuswide nomination process. Recipients are then selected by the council for their demonstrated ability to challenge students academically, create an engaged and inclusive learning environment, improve the learning process, and foster interdepartmental collaboration.

Williams Fellows each receive $5,000, and a second $5,000 is provided to their department to be used, under the fellow’s supervision, to strengthen the learning experiences of undergraduate students.

More information about the fellows and the program is available online.