Professor of the Year

Testimonials about Sammy Basu

Students | Alumni | Faculty

Students

Cheyenne Boon '17, undeclared major

“One day, in the middle of class, he asked me how I could possibly get up in the morning believing the way I do. I spent the rest of the day trying to find the answer to his question, in fact I think I'm still trying. You have to work to believe anything in his College Colloquium, and he never gives you the answer.

“Also, he once told me that, if they were careful, someone could spend four years at Willamette and not be made to feel uncomfortable. I guess his goal for our colloquium is to make sure that doesn't happen.”


Andrés Oswill '15, politics major

“My freshman year, I came into his office during his office hours every week. While many say he can be intimidating in class, he was incredibly personable during his office hours and took me under his wing.”


Alumni

Caty Buckley '98, Willamette politics graduate
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) supervisor

“Professor Basu was omnipresent in my college experience, and it is difficult to separate what Willamette provided me as a university from what professor Basu provided to me as a mentor and touchstone.

“He pushed me to do better, to be better, to create better, to research better, to question better. What I remember most is that professor Basu was just there.”


Tobias Reed '97, Willamette politics graduate
Majority Whip and Oregon State Representative, D-Beaverton

“I’ll confess a certain bias when it comes to Sammy. Each Willamette undergraduate is assigned a faculty mentor on his arrival, and I was lucky enough to be matched with him.

“Unlike many of my other faculty, Sammy has remained in touch. Even now, 15 years after I graduated, I am in regular contact with Sammy, and I know I am not the only one.”


Faculty

Stephen E. Thorsett
Willamette University president

“He is an innovator, who has successfully introduced a wide range of graphic, digital and interactive approaches into humanities-based learning.

“He is a trailblazer, who early on championed service-learning beyond the classroom and taught students to use their intellectual passions in service to the community.

“He is a collaborator, who has served on the steering committee of the Mellon Liberal Arts Research Collaborative and as the director of the College Colloquium, Willamette’s freshman seminar.

“It is clear to me that Sammy Basu exemplifies the kind of teaching we all aspire to at Willamette University.”


Jonneke Koomen
Willamette assistant professor of politics

“For Sammy, his work as a teacher and advisor are thoroughly connected. While other professors have “office hours” he has a line out the door every day. Despite his very large student advising caseload, Sammy is always available to meet with students.

“I could not be more grateful to have such a generous and inspiring senior colleague who is thoroughly dedicated to students’ learning and well being.”


Richard Ellis
Willamette politics professor and the 2008 Oregon Professor of the Year

“Although he is one of the most popular teachers on campus, he is not a charismatic showman. He teaches without gimmicks or any hint of pandering. In short, Sammy teaches by modeling imaginative, serious, sustained intellectual inquiry. Nobody does that better.”