2019 Instructional Excellence Awards Honoring Instructors for Their Contributions and Impact
2019 Instructional Excellence Awards Honoring Instructors for Their Contributions and Impact

For many Continuum College instructors, teaching is something they do on top of their full-time jobs. They choose to teach because they are passionate about their subjects, want to give back to the community and aim to inspire the next generation of learners in their fields.

The Instructional Excellence Awards allow us to recognize our outstanding instructors. With hundreds of instructors to choose from, narrowing it down was not easy. The instructors we’ve honored this year excelled beyond the basic curriculum. Many have developed courses, served as mentors and helped students form valuable connections that have accelerated their careers.

Randall Root

Legacy Instructional Excellence Award
Certificate in Business Intelligence & Database Development, Certificate in C# Programming, Foundations of Programming (Python) and Foundations of Databases & SQL Programming

Randal Root is a senior consultant specializing in .NET programming, SQL server business intelligence solutions and technical education. He has worked in this industry since the 1980s and has authored two books: A Tester's Guide to .NET Programming and Pro SQL Server 2012 BI Solutions.

Randal started teaching with UW Professional & Continuing Education in 2006 and has mentored several other instructors and instructional assistants who also became successful at the UW. Randall is known for always going the extra mile to help students meet their learning objectives.


MIchael Gregor

Instructional Excellence Award
Certificate in Programming (Python)

Michael Gregor is a software engineer at Zonar Systems, where he works on the mobile middleware team. He has experience with Flask, Jinja2, uWSGI, Swagger, Docker, Helm, GitLab, CI/CD, Datadog and Stackdriver.

Michael goes beyond his expected roles as an instructional assistant to improve the learning experience of the students. He reaches out to students to provide additional help, gives insightful feedback and contributes to the class lectures along with the instructor.



John Parker

Instructional Excellence Award
Summer Youth Programs

John Parker is a career technical education specialist for the Seattle Public School District. During the school year, he coaches teachers and develops opportunities for students to delve into STEM topics.

Since 2013, John has spent his summers as an instructor with the UW Summer Youth Programs and has taught more than 650 students. He has taught middle school classes on STEM-related topics including earth science, engineering design, green energy, microbiology and 3D modelling. His relationships with the UW community have given his students the opportunity to interact with scientists and graduate students conducting real-world research.



Matt Saavedra

Instructional Excellence Award
Certificate in E-Learning Instructional Design

Matt is a training manager at LifeCenter Northwest, where he supports education for organ donation across Washington, Idaho, Alaska and Montana. He was formerly the associate director of Enrollment Information Services for the UW and has over 15 years of experience in e-learning and instructional design.

For the past six years, Matt has taught in the Certificate in E-Learning Instructional Design program. He teaches the course Developing & Managing E-Learning and mentors students through their practicum. Matt always ensures his content is relevant and engaging.



Joseph Schilz

Instructional Excellence Award
Certificate in Programming (Python)

After serving in the Marines and earning a master’s in teaching, Joseph Schilz taught mathematics and technology in Alaska and then worked as a web developer at the UW. He currently writes code that supports the development and testing of human spaceflight hardware for Blue Origin.

Joseph has been an instructor in the Programming (Python) certificate program since 2016. As a course developer, he identifies gaps, responds to student feedback and revises content to keep up to date with current job requirements. He is recognized for his clarity, brilliant instructional videos and efforts to help students succeed.


Certificate in Editing Team

Team Instructional Excellence Award
Certificate in Editing

The editing team is composed of professionals in book publishing, corporate communication strategies, copy editing, freelance writing, proofreading and developmental editing. They provide a diverse and real-world perspective to the editing profession, making the certificate highly sought after by those motivated to enter the field or enhance their current practice.

The editing team includes:

  • Ingrid Emerick
  • Kris Fulsaas
  • Mary-Colleen Jenkins
  • Christy Karras
  • Leslie Miller
  • Tamara Neely
  • Daven Rosener
  • Andi Tosch

Congratulations to all of our 2019 winners! Thank you to all of our incredible instructors for leading courses that enable thousands of students to explore their passions and boost their careers. 

For more announcements from UW Professional & Continuing Education, visit the News & Features section of our website. To learn more about our certificates, specializations, degrees and courses, explore your options or contact us.

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