“It's with great joy that we have the chance to recognize Dave Owen for excellence in teaching by selecting him as the 2017 recipient of the Rutter Award for Teaching Excellence,” praised Academic Dean Morris Ratner.
The selection committee-- which consisted of Dean Ratner, Professor David Takacs (last year’s recipient), Jerome Pandell ‘08, and ASUCH President 3L Sammy Chang-- deliberated and chose Owen for this annual award of $10,000 provided by the Rutter Endowment to an outstanding UC Hastings professor.
Professor Owen’s students characterize him as "easy to approach," "knowledgeable," "organized," "passionate," and "committed to teaching and to his students." Other student commentary praises his innovative pedagogy, including the way he weaves practical exercises into his classes and the degree to which he provides individualized feedback on student writing.
“As an alumnus, it’s important to see UC Hastings honor outstanding and effective classroom teaching,” noted Jerome Pandell.
“Professor Dave Owen is an example of how amazing the UC Hastings professors can be at teaching. He has been described by students as infectiously enthusiastic about law and a breath of fresh air,” said 3L Sammy Chang. “He not only teaches the law but pushes students to realize their potential.”
Professor Owen’s teaching abilities are also well respected amongst his peers. “From our frequent, in-depth conversations, I know that Dave thinks and cares deeply about teaching,” said Professor David Takacs. “He is particularly committed to, and adept at, figuring out exercises that help students implement their knowledge of the rules in real world, practice-imitative situations.”
The award-winning professor joined the UC Hastings faculty in 2015 and teaches courses in environmental, natural resources, water, land use, and administrative law. His interest in the subject area began when he was about six years old and his parents denied him access to all television except for PBS wildlife specials. He graduated from UC Berkeley Law, where he served as editor-in-chief of Ecology Law Quarterly and was selected for the Order of the Coif.
In his professional practice, Professor Owen clerked at a federal district court and worked for a small law firm in San Francisco handling matters on water law, including Colorado River allocation, Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta litigation, and federal state disputes over the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository. His academic research focuses primarily on water resource management and his articles have been recognized by his peers as among the top in environmental law.
“With the award of this year's Rutter Award for Teaching Excellence, we thank Dave for inspiring us all,” concluded Dean Ratner.
Every year, the Rutter Endowment provides UC Hastings an annual award of $10,000 for an outstanding professor. According to the terms of the gift, the outstanding professor is to be chosen by a committee consisting of the Provost & Academic Dean, a student, an alumnus, and the prior year’s winner.
A formal award ceremony and reception for the 2017 Award is scheduled for Wednesday, October 11, 2017, 3:30 - 5:00 p.m. in the Alumni Reception Center. Please mark your calendars and join us in celebrating this special occasion! Click here to RSVP.