Beth PollardHistory Professor Elizabeth Pollard Wins CSU Faculty Innovation and Leadership Award

Elizabeth Pollard, a digital innovator and key figure in the transition of the College of Arts and Letters (CAL) curriculum to the virtual space last spring, is among one of 25 recipients of the California State University Faculty Innovation and Leadership Awards. Pollard encouraged students to contribute to Wikipedia for “learning that sticks” and provided leadership to other faculty in the move to virtual-space education.

Read the full story on SDSU NewsCenter. | Learn more about the award from the CSU.

Her students tell us why Pollard is so deserving of the award.

“In complete honesty, I selected Professor Pollard’s Why History Matters class simply because I like history; I did not understand how learning why history matters would aid me in being a lifelong learner. However, now that I have taken this class, I have been able to see all the ways that it has already impacted my life. Every single assignment or activity not only helped me learn history but engage with it. In Professor Pollard’s classroom, studying history went from a passive activity to an active endeavor. I was given the tools to confront facts, museums, monuments, films, and readings to understand our role as both observers and figures of history. Since being in Professor Pollard’s class I have had conversations with my veteran family members about the similarities of the Vietnam and the Iraq War. I even gave a presentation in my Comm 103 class arguing for removing Confederate monuments from public spaces and placing them in museums because of a conversation we had in our Why History Matters class. Moving forward as a history major, I know that I am well equipped to succeed in my classes because of the foundation that Professor Pollard has helped me lay. In the future, I hope to be able to take another class with Professor Pollard because I always looked forward to the way she could make me think about history in new and exciting ways.”

Clarissa Baldocchi

“Professor Pollard has sparked my love of history and shed a lot of light on the expansiveness of history and academia. As a first-generation student, her guidance has been invaluable from everything to grad school to grammar. Before her historiography class, I had no clue that digital humanities existed and how rewarding it is to have a project that's not a paper. Honestly, before meeting Professor Pollard, I thought I was going to have to do a traditional history like studying the Kennedys, (while extremely important); it isn't my passion. Now, as a graduate student, my focus allows me to research and talk about my love of horror films and all things witchy!

She has always found opportunities for students to get their feet wet through presenting at university events, field trips both inside and outside of SDSU, and so much more! Most importantly, Professor Pollard is honest with her students in areas that she is not as familiar with and will connect you to a trusted scholar because she respects her students.”

— Jade Connolly-Cepurac

“I am a two-time former student of Dr. Elizabeth Pollard (HIST 100 Spring 2018 + HIST 503 Spring 2019) and I recently heard that she earned recognition among the entire CSU community. I am writing to enter in a student's perspective and insight into her impact within SDSU academics. Dr. Pollard exemplifies excellence in all aspects of her role as a history professor. Her dynamic teaching style and energetic passion has truly changed my life for the better, as well as the lives of many other students. She genuinely made me excited to attend class every single day and inspired me to pay attention, put my best foot forward, and unlock my full potential as a student. It has been over a year since I have been in one of her classes, yet I still reminisce on the fond memories I have from my interactions with her. She is an absolutely legendary professor and a role model to us all.

Dr. Pollard is truly one of my favorite professors of all time and extremely deserving of this award.”

— Evan Conway

“When I look back on my experience at San Diego State University and people who have truly impacted me during that unique and enjoyable time, Professor Pollard is one of the first people that come to mind. Ancient Rome was the most fulfilling class I have ever taken at SDSU — the energy she brought into the classroom was unmatched and it was one that I truly looked forward to attending. Teaching us how to code in HTML and incorporate it into StoryMap and Timeline Projects is just one example of Dr. Pollard’s fun and innovative teaching techniques that not only broadened our horizons but helped us gain a greater understanding of the content of the class. If I could take HIST503 with Dr. Pollard again, I would and I’d enjoy it just as much. Professor Pollard is a marvelous instructor who is compassionate, attentive and invested in her students’ learning and is most deserving of this award.”

Caeli Gibbs

“Dr. Pollard is the most passionate professor I have had to date! Her lectures are dynamic as she doesn't simply stick to the ‘chalk and talk’ method. She teaches history through graphic novels, primary sources, assigned research projects that introduced us to digital humanities, and so much more. Her passion for history is felt by all who take her class! It is evident that she loves teaching and has always kept her doors open for any of her students. Her class has shown me how I want to teach history someday.”

— Tatiana Landini