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Distinguished Faculty

At Willamette University, we are proud to provide our students with an education that isn't confined to lecture halls. Our faculty fosters a collaborative environment where they provide mentorship to students and are available in a one-on-one setting to discuss research topics, offer additional assistance on assignments, and provide career advice.

Learn from the best

Willamette faculty members have been named Oregon’s Professor of the Year a record 11 times since 1990 and our comprehensive approach to academics balances independent inquiry and collaborative exploration with our academic hearths. The hearths are physical spaces lined by faculty offices designed for studying and both formal and informal discussions among students and faculty.

Leaders in their fields

Willamette’s faculty is made up of award-winning scholars, researchers, leaders, and innovators who draw on their experience in their respective fields to equip students with the practical skills they will need in their careers. Willamette is a liberal arts university that strives to provide students with strong interdisciplinary opportunities and our faculty reflects that. Among our most recent national award recipients are Professor Rosa León Zayas and Professor Vincent Pham. Professor León Zayas (Biology) was awarded a Maxwell/Hanrahan Field Biology Award in 2021 and Professor Pham (Civic Communication and Media) received the Arnold L. Graves and Lois S. Graves Award in the Humanities in 2022.

Artists and Mentors

Our faculty at the Pacific Northwest College of Art come from a wide variety of creative backgrounds and use their unique skillsets to guide aspiring artists and designers as they discover and define their voice. One of PNCA’s most recognized professors is Illustration department head Martin French whose images have won countless awards and who received the Patrick Nagel Award for Excellence by the Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles in 2019. At the graduate level, Skye Morét uses visual storytelling to investigate the relationship between nature and technology. Her work was recently featured in Scienfic American Magazine.

Excellence in Graduate Education

Willamette’s graduate programs boast equally distinguished faculty from incisive lawyers and legal scholars to successful business leaders who help students build connections as they begin their careers. Law professor Symeon Symeonides is a world-renowned scholar of international law who has received multiple honors including two Lifetime Achievement awards in 2015 and 2019. At the Atkinson Graduate School of Management, JELD-WEN Professor of Free Enterprise Debra Ringold received the Julie Abendroth Professor of the Year award in 2022, recognizing her devotion to encouraging student athletes to excel in both academics and athletics. Our newly created MS in Data Science program features exceptional faculty like Heather Kitada Smalley who is the Albaugh Assistant Professor of Statistics and has won several competitions as an individual scholar and alongside her students.

The many accolades and grants Willamette faculty members have received is indicative of their commitment to providing students with an in-depth learning experience. By drawing on their own expertise and fostering access to resources and opportunities, Willamette professors help their students gain the experience that will set them apart in a competitive job market.

  • Receive one-on-one mentorship
  • Build your network
  • Benefit from grant funding
  • Get career advice
  • Participate in research projects
  • Learn from scholars whose work has made them a primary source of information