Sociology PhD Student Karlyn Gorski among UChicago instructors, grad students honored in 2022 for exceptional teaching

May 26, 2022

Announcements| Student| Sociology

a view of the social sciences quad in the spring a view of the social sciences quad in the spring

This article has been edited to showcase recipients from the Social Sciences Division. You can learn more about the full list of graduate student and instructor teaching award recipients here.

The University of Chicago has honored nine instructors and graduate students for their exceptional work as teachers. Nominated by undergraduates in the College, these winners demonstrated the ability to push students to think beyond the classroom, and to share their disciplines in exciting ways.

Anne Beal, Benjamin Callard, Trevor Hyde, John Kennedy and Veronica Vegna have been awarded the Glenn and Claire Swogger Award for Exemplary Classroom Teaching, which recognizes outstanding teachers with College appointments who introduce students to habits of scholarly thinking, inquiry and engagement in the Core Curriculum—the College’s general education program.

Ian Bongalonta, Karlyn Gorski, Peishu Li and Marguerite Sandholm have been named the 2022 winners of the Wayne C. Booth Prize for Excellence in Teaching, awarded annually to University of Chicago graduate students for outstanding instruction of undergraduates. The prize itself was established in 1991 in honor of Booth, PhD’50, the late UChicago faculty member who was one of the 20th century’s most influential literary critics.

In addition, the University has awarded 10 faculty members with the Llewellyn John and Harriet Manchester Quantrell Awards and the Faculty Awards for Excellence in Graduate Teaching and Mentoring.

Karlyn Gorski, Department of Sociology

Karlyn Gorski
Karlyn Gorski

Karlyn Gorski’s interest in education and research goes back to her time as an undergraduate student in the College, where she studied public policy. She credits Chad Broughton’s instruction on ethnographic research in particular with shaping her future work.

“I was so lucky to have Chad Broughton as an instructor in the College because he always encouraged me to get to know people and listen closely to their stories,” Gorski said. “Sometimes this meant letting my research go in unexpected directions, or pursuing leads that may or may not work out.”

Following the completion of her undergraduate degree, Gorski spent time working with Chicago Public Schools, teaching in India, and finally coming back to the University of Chicago for a Ph.D. program in Sociology. Upon her return, she began teaching classes on education and research methods. She is currently teaching “Race, Ethnicity, and American Public Schools,” a course she designed for the Critical Race and Ethnic Studies major.

In the fall, she will be starting as an assistant instructional professor at the Harris School of Public Policy.

Gorski values student-directed learning as a major component of her courses, including independent research projects and small group discussions. She also enjoys working with Public Policy students for their thesis research presentations at the BA Symposium. She works diligently to foster students’ passions and love of learning in all of her instruction, encouraging students to follow their interests wherever they lead.

“I always try to leave students with the message that their interests and passions are valuable.”
—Karlyn Gorski

“I always try to leave students with the message that their interests and passions are valuable, even if they worry others might see them as niche or too rooted in personal experience,” said Gorksi, who is also an Institute of Education Sciences Pre-Doctoral Fellow. “My research has all grown out of things I find joyful—like kids selling chips in school, or students finding a feeling of belonging through extracurricular activities. It’s been a delight to get to watch my students pursue their own interests.”