For her commitment to excellence, innovation, opportunity, and inclusion, demonstrated through her teaching prowess, Joanne F. Zinger has been named the 2019 Dean’s Honoree at the 25th Annual Celebration of Teaching.
Zinger, associate teaching professor in psychological science, was selected for the honor because of her “exemplary history of being an impactful and thoughtful instructor for our Social Ecology undergraduate and graduate students."
Some of the numerous accolades and recognitions that Zinger has received include a grant from the UCI Center for Engaged Instruction to develop an innovative and engaging online course and the 2017 Bridge-Builder Award from the UCI Black Leadership Advancement Coalition for her commitment to inclusive excellence. Beyond the classroom, with her research mentorship, her students have presented at regional and national conferences, with many earning funding to do so.
Her teaching is distinguished by its versatility.
During the last three years alone, Zinger taught a staggering 23 courses, ranging from an enrollment of 18 to 447 students. Twenty-one of the courses occurred during the academic year: 16 large undergraduate courses (four offerings of "Psychology Fundamentals C," three offerings of "Human Sexuality," three offerings of "Research Design," two offerings of "Personality," two offerings of "Social Relationships," one offering of "Social Animal," and one offering of "Industrial/Organizational Psychology"); three small undergraduate (field study) courses; and two graduate ("Research Methods") courses.
Whether small or large enrollment, undergraduate or graduate students, traditional or online format, substantive or quantitative focus, Zinger demonstrates impressive consistency in the high quality of her teaching, her students consistently testify.
“I am humbled and honored that Dean Nancy Guerra chose me for this award,” Zinger said. “I am very passionate about undergraduate education, and I feel immensely lucky to have the chance to work with such wonderful students and to have such supportive colleagues.”
Besides teaching, Zinger directs the successful Post-Baccalaureate Program in Psychological Science. The program combines psychology coursework with research and/or internship experience. It is designed for people who are interested in a psychology-related graduate program, career development, or a career change, and who could benefit from additional upper-division coursework, research and/or real-life work experience in psychology. It offers an individualized course of study based on each person’s qualifications and goals.
Zinger also serves as coordinator of the Social Ecology Excellence in Research Program, which provides students with an opportunity to gain advanced research experience in a structured two-year program that includes a three quarter participation in the School of Social Ecology’s Honors Seminar. At the end of the program, all students fulfilling the program requirements receive the Social Ecology Excellence in Research Award.
The annual Celebration of Teaching event is sponsored by the Academic Senate Council on Teaching, Learning and Student Experience and the Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning and hosted by the Division of Teaching Excellence and Innovation.
Zinger holds a Ph.D. in social/personality psychology from UC Riverside. Since joining the UCI faculty in 2007, she has won several other awards for her teaching, including the Campus Village Professor of the Month (2009), the Social Ecology Student Association Professor of the Quarter (2010), the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Fostering Undergraduate Research in the School of Social Ecology (2012), the UCI Lecturer of the Year Award (2012), and the UCI Yearbook/Senior Class Outstanding Professor in the School of Social Ecology (2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014).
— Mimi Ko Cruz