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Computer Science Professor Recognized Not Once, Not Twice, but Three Times in Year-End Honors

Christine Alvarado is receiving three teaching awards this month.

San Diego, Calif., June 1, 2017 -- Computer scientist Christine Alvarado is no stranger to winning awards, particularly for her teaching. But what's unusual is that starting June 3, she will be accepting not just one or two such awards, but three. The honors will come from the Tau Beta Pi honors engineering society, the Jacobs School of Engineering, and the Academic Senate.

On Saturday, June 3, UC San Diego's California Psi chapter of Tau Beta Pi (TBP) will hold its annual end-of-year banquet. The event features a networking dinner with alumni, industry guests, faculty and the society's student members. It will also be an occasion to hand out outstanding faculty awards, which typically go to two or three faculty based on a vote of the chapter's members. "Every year our members nominate faculty members whom they believe have had a significant impact on the lives of young engineers," said Rachel Hsiong, president of TBP's UC San Diego chapter.

After the votes were counted, Alvarado, an associate professor at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego, emerged as one of the 2017 recipients of the TBP Faculty of the Year Award. She will formally accept the award following the annual dinner, which appropriately takes place in the auditorium of the computer science building this Saturday from 6:30 to 9pm. The honors society will also introduce its new leadership team for the next academic year, and will look back at the year in review of TBP activities and achievements.

A broader group of seniors from all six Jacobs School departments were eligible to nominate favorite professors for the school's annual Faculty of the Year Award. Nominees were graded in three categories: classroom engagement and teaching style; clarity of instruction; and helpfulness in supporting learning. Only one professor could be selected, and according to organizers, Alvarado was the runaway favorite, capturing the highest rankings of all nominees across all the rating categories (with an average of 9.83 out of 10 points)..

The reviews were uniformly favorable: "She is really engaging and explains complex topics clearly," noted one student. Another commented that Alvarado "made me really feel like computer science was something I thoroughly enjoyed when I first started." Added a third student who nominated Alvarado: "She is one of the reasons why I chose to remain and continue with this field."

Alvarado will accept her Faculty of the Year Award from Jacobs School Dean Albert P. Pisano during the 2017 Ring Ceremony, which is scheduled for 8 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, June 17 on Warren Mall.

While those two awards primarily reflected support from students, Alvarado is also being honored by her fellow faculty members of the Academic Senate. She is one of five Senate members selected to receive Distinguished Teaching Awards for the 2016-17 academic year.  She will accept her award along with other recipients at the Academic Senate awards ceremony set for Monday, October 16 from 2-4 p.m. in the Faculty Club.

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Doug Ramsey
Jacobs School of Engineering
Phone: 858-822-5825
dramsey@ucsd.edu

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