UCI's Erika Hayasaki honored at 2021 Celebration of Teaching

UCI's Erika Hayasaki honored at 2021 Celebration of Teaching

 Office of the Dean May 3, 2021

Erika Hayasaki, associate professor of English in UCI’s Literary Journalism Program, has been named the School of Humanities Dean’s Honoree for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching as part of UCI’s Celebration of Teaching. An annual series of awards conferred upon UCI instructors for their pedagogical excellence, the Celebration of Teaching is sponsored by the Academic Senate Council on Teaching, Learning, & Student Experience (CTLSE) and the Vice Provost for Teaching & Learning.

“Erika Hayasaki is exemplary for her dedication to her craft as a journalist and her role as a mentor to UCI students,” Miller said. “In her workshops, she attends intensively to the writing process, helping her students overcome obstacles and become more self-confident and self-aware in the art of writing. ‘Knowledgeable, supportive and challenging’ – these are some of the key terms that characterize Erika Hayasaki as a teacher.” 

Hayasaki joined the Literary Journalism Program in 2009 and is one of the program’s five core faculty members. As a journalist, she writes longform features for publications like The Atlantic, The New York Times Magazine, and Wired on social issues, technology and science. She is the author of the book The Death Class: A True Story About Life (Simon & Schuster, 2014).

In her acceptance video, Hayasaki read aloud a message from a former student and reflected on her own journey as a young journalist mentored by more established journalists. “As professors, we are passing on these lessons that someone, somewhere along the way, passed on to us, hoping that something sticks and take root. Thank you to my students for giving that back to me,” she said.

Hayasaki brings several established journalists, editors and authors to campus each quarter to engage with her students and the broader UCI community. In fact, as part of UCI’s Center for Storytelling, she has created an ongoing workshop series highlighting BIPOC women in storytelling across mediums.