2023 Teaching Excellence Awards Students and certificate graduates say these expert teachers go above and beyond
2023 Teaching Excellence Awards Students and certificate graduates say these expert teachers go above and beyond

With enthusiastic support and accolades from colleagues, students and grads, more than 20 teaching professionals are being honored with the 2023 Teaching Excellence Awards, presented by UW Continuum College.

2023 Teaching Excellence Awards

Instructional Excellence Award

Andrew Barker
Caitlin Chamberlin
Carl Chatfield
Ami Samuels

Instructional Assistant Award

Kate Merriwether
Bryan Palmer

Instructional Excellence Legacy Award

Harvey Arnone
Judith Maier

Team Instructional Excellence Award

UW Certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

These annual awards recognize instructors, program developers and instructional assistants who make outstanding contributions to student success in professional and specialized University of Washington learning programs.

The 2023 honorees are among the more than 500 professionals who teach, serve and support students through UW Continuum College’s range of learning opportunities, including UW Professional & Continuing Education (UWPCE), UW Youth & Teen Programs and UW in the High School.

“At UW Continuum College, we believe that everyone deserves to thrive in an ever-changing world, and our dedicated instructors and staff drive that mission,” says Stacey Fontes, program management director of International & Academic Programs and a member of the instructor recognition committee at UW Continuum College. “We’re delighted to recognize these teaching professionals for all they do to support students and share their expertise."

Instructional Excellence Award

This award honors four instructors who contributed to student achievement in professional or specialized programs.

Andrew Barker


UW Certificate in Data Visualization

Students say Andrew is approachable, knowledgeable, and goes above and beyond to support their success, even hosting “bonus classes” about most-requested topics. Andrew — who used to work at Tableau and is now a senior manager of analytics and enablement at AlphaSense — is known as a “Tableau wizard” who ensures students understand how to apply their new data-visualization skills in the workplace.

What a student says about Andrew: “He’s an excellent teacher, period! I appreciate the examples and his Socratic way of teaching to get us to think about the problem rather than just giving us the answer.”

Caitlin Chamberlin


NanoCamp! and STEAM Innovation Lab, UW Youth & Teen Programs

Caitlin continuously adapts her classes to inspire young students to be engaged, confident learners. Caitlin, a former science teacher, received a National Science Foundation award to support her teaching and research on the NanoCamp! curriculum through the UW's Molecular Engineering and Materials Center. She's also a role model for students interested in potential science, tech, engineering, art and math (STEAM) careers.

What a Youth & Teen Programs student says about Caitlin’s class: “I love coding and robotics and now that I know a lot, I can be a coder when I grow up.”

Carl Chatfield


UW Certificate in Professional Technical Writing
UW Certificate in Storytelling & Content Strategy

Carl brings his industry expertise as a content strategist and a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) to the classroom, where he helps students build a competitive edge in the job market. He integrates the latest tools, software and best practices into his curriculum, and students say they value his insights and feedback on projects. Carl also connects students to industry experts and networking opportunities to support their professional development.

What a colleague says about Carl: “As a result of Carl's exceptional teaching efforts, graduates of the program consistently achieve remarkable results — many of his former students have gone on to secure positions in leading technical writing roles at prominent organizations.”

Ami Samuels


UW Certificate in Editing

A Seattle-area freelance editor, Ami is also a hallmark teacher, coach and mentor who’s already supported more than 300 UWPCE certificate students from around the globe. Ami creates an encouraging learning environment where students can develop copyediting and research skills at their own pace. She also ensures aspiring editors know how to leverage editorial technologies and resources to achieve excellence in the field.

What a colleague says about Ami: “Students often report that her feedback was pivotal — it’s truly remarkable to see so many words of thanks from students who appreciate the wisdom Ami imparts.”

Instructional Assistant Award

This honor recognizes two instructional assistants for their outstanding contributions to support students and teaching staff in certificate and specialized programs.

Kate Merriwether


UW Certificate in Private Investigation

Veteran instructors say Kate is an invaluable partner in this program for aspiring private investigators. Kate provides real-time online support for students and helped revitalize the program’s learning technology and tools. As an alumna of the certificate program and part-time investigator, Kate also supports students as they learn about surveillance and witness-interviewing techniques.

What a student says about Kate: “Kate was always responsive and helpful with technology issues and posting class recordings. Wonderful to work with and learn from!”

Bryan Palmer


UW Certificate in Cybersecurity Risk Management
UW Certificate in Software Product Management
UW Certificate in Localization: Customizing Software for the World
UW Certificate in Digital Marketing

For more than 12 years, Bryan has worked behind the scenes to ensure every UWPCE student can equitably access learning technology during their education. Known in part for his knowledge of “Zoom tricks,” instructors and students alike say Bryan is always quick to help them find the solutions they need.

What a colleague says about Bryan: “Bryan’s advocacy for students is unrelenting. He is expert, loyal, tech-savvy and always performs at full throttle."

Instructor Excellence Legacy Award

These awards go to two instructors who exemplify teaching excellence and have contributed to student achievement at UWPCE for more than a decade.

Harvey Arnone


UW Certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

For 18 years and counting, Harvey has been known as an extraordinarily empathetic teacher and advocate who ensures that his students graduate with real-world knowledge about the latest advancements in geospatial technologies. Harv, who also serves as GIS & CADD manager for Seattle's Information Technology Department, also connects students with a rich network of guest speakers, mentors, UWPCE graduates and GIS practitioners across the public and private sectors.

What a student says about Harvey: “What Harvey’s doing is helping the world. This class empowers students and enables them to get involved in their field of interest as more confident and skilled workers.”

Judith Maier


UW Certificate in Paralegal Studies

Judith has helped thousands of UWPCE grads become proficient in legal writing and advance their careers. This highly respected certificate program attracts learners from a wide range of backgrounds, and Judith ensures every student knows they’re welcome and belong in the program. A former law clerk for the Washington State Court of Appeals, Judith has been teaching — while also practicing business law — for more than 20 years.

What students say about Judi: “Judi consistently sets the bar for all instructors. Her classes are well-structured, she's always clear in her communication and presentation of the material, and I consistently learn the most in her classes.”


This award recognizes a team of 17 instructors and contributors who create exceptional learning experiences for students through individual excellence and true, consistent teamwork.


GIS Instructors

Students say they appreciate how this teaching team cross-collaborates to share their unique, combined wealth of GIS professional practice and experience. These instructors and assistants work together to ensure that students in online and real-time classes receive the same curriculum and learning experiences, including mentored, real-world group projects. Colleagues also admire that every GIS team member is thoughtful about principles of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging.

What students say about the GIS Certificate team: “The instructors played very well to their strengths in swapping back and forth between topics. It was very informative and stretched my thinking in a way that was not stressful. This helped to keep us engaged.”


  • Harvey Arnone, GIS & CADD manager, City of Seattle Information Technology
  • Christina Chelf, GIS supervisor, City of Tacoma; GIS consultant, Mycelia Consulting
  • Mark Joselyn, cartographer; GIS analyst, Seattle Public Utilities, Watershed Management Division
  • Eugene Martin, GIS consultant and knowledge analyst
  • Skye Naslund, instructor of geography & GIS research scientist, University of Washington
  • Chad Phelan, GIS modernization lead, City of Seattle Information Technology
  • Asa Sakrison, GIS research scientist and educator
  • Leah Saunders, senior GIS data analyst, City of Seattle
  • Stephen Savage, senior GIS analyst, HNTB
  • Enzhou Wang, chief data officer, City of Tacoma 
  • Marc Weber, geographer, Environmental Protection Agency, Pacific Ecological Systems Division

Instructional Assistants

  • Chris Beaudette, GIS architect, Weyerhauser
  • Abeer Halani, GIS analyst, Locana
  • Eliza Kronenberger, Washington State Department of Ecology
  • Sydney Iverson, GIS technician, Apple via RMSI
  • Michael Lang, GIS lab assistant, University of Washington Suzzallo Library
  • Chianson Siu, GIS analyst, City of Seattle

For more stories about award-winning instructors and staff, as well as other news 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.

To learn more about UW Continuum College’s full range of learning programs for ages 7 to 87, visit our website.

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.

Author Kate Dixon

Kate Dixon

Kate Dixon is a web content manager at UW Continuum College, where she’s proud to support innovation, excellence and access to world-class public education. An alumna of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Kate earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism and master’s degree in strategic communications.

Kate enjoys showcasing diverse stories of learning momentum, student success and the power of education to inspire positive change and brighter communities.

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