Williams instructional grants go to four UO faculty members

Four faculty members at the University of Oregon are being recognized for their exceptional teaching ideas.

Akiko Walley, Julie Weise, Nicole Dudukovic and Joshua Skov have received 2022 Williams instructional grants. Winners of the award receive funding for projects that support learning experiences in their department.

As associate professor of Japanese art, Walley said the support from the Williams Fund will help her expand education around the subject and confront its imperialist history.

“This project emerged from a recent essay I composed for a Routledge anthology on decolonizing art history,” she said. “The problematic origin of Japanese art history as a propagandistic tool of the rising colonial empire has been well researched and is now common knowledge within the discipline. This knowledge, however, has not yet been translated into a concrete pedagogical remedy.”

Walley will be overhauling her ARH 209 art history course to include representation for ethnic minorities in the country’s history and plans to create a new survey textbook on art history in Japan. Funding from the Williams award will go toward two research trips to Japan to support the work.

Meanwhile, associate professor Weise will focus on an issue that’s close to her heart and connects to her work in the department of history.

“My proposal was inspired by something personal: feeling somewhat adrift as a Jewish American in Eugene, a place where our history is simply not a part of the landscape,” she said. “And then I thought, ‘Wait! I am an historian who teaches at a university! Maybe I could help fix this?!’”

She will be partnering with Rabbi Meir Goldstein in the Judaic Ssudies department to create a website that will allow students to conduct primary research on historically marginalized communities in Lane County while learning digital skills. The project also will benefit the wider community, Weir said.

Neuroscience instructor Dudukovic said she was thrilled to win because of what it means for the students in her department.

“I will be using the award money to create a website that will allow students to get hands-on experience with brain imaging data,” she said. “The website will provide instructions for accessing existing large-scale brain imaging datasets as well as suggestions for how these datasets can be used to develop and address research questions.”

Students will be able to access the resource whether they’re in a class or working on independent research. Dudukovic said this will make it easier for undergraduate students to get hands-on experience, even in situations like COVID-19 when in-person lab experiences may not be accessible.

Skov, an instructor of management in the Lundquist College of Business, submitted a proposal called “Insider Critiques of Capitalism.” The funding is expected to go toward building community on campus on the topic.

By Chelsea Hunt, Office of the Provost