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Professors Michele Assael-Shafia and Gail Tang Receive 2022 Excellence in Teaching Awards

Assistant Professor of Law Michele Assael-Shafia, JD ’95, and Associate Professor in Mathematics Gail Tang are the recipients of the University of La Verne’s 2022 Excellence in Teaching Award.

The annual award is bestowed by the provost and recognizes faculty who have displayed extraordinary effectiveness and creativity in their work. Both faculty members were highlighted during this year’s Convocation ceremony, giving the audience a glimpse into their exemplary talents and commitment to education.

Assael-Shafia is licensed attorney who teaches in the College of Law. Her legal experience includes insurance defense, corporate in-house counsel, and serving as a deputy district attorney in San Bernardino County. She also co-founded and directs the San Bernardino County Misdemeanor Appellate Advocacy Clinic, a place where clients can appeal misdemeanors or attempt to clear their records following a criminal conviction as well as find housing, pursue jobs, or join the military.

“I am honored to receive this year’s Excellence in Teaching Award,” she said. “This award reflects the tenacious and hard-working Leo community that I am fortunate to be a part of. Teaching is my passion, and without my students’ dedication, the consistent collaboration with co-workers, and the College of Law administrators’ unwavering support, I would not be able to pursue it zealously.”

Tang is chair of Mathematics in the College of Arts and Sciences. She is passionate about mentoring students and discovering new ways to support their mathematical creativity and development, especially for women and people of color in the sciences.

“I feel so honored to have received the teaching award,” Tang said. “It fuels me to continue learning how to collaborate and build community with my students. I am motivated by all their successes!”

Tang was a recipient of the 2022 Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics: SoCal Nevada Section Teaching Award. In 2019, she was a Fulbright Scholar at Mandalay University in Myanmar. Next summer, Tang will set sail with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as part of the Teacher at Sea program.