FPF Instructors

People who love teaching first-year students

We have an amazing team of instructors who are passionate about teaching first-year students at Berkeley. Our instructors are dedicated, accessible and knowledgeable, and many of them have taught or currently teach on the main campus. Coming from a wide range of disciplines, they help students make interdisciplinary connections in the classroom. They also work closely with the FPF advisors to provide students with a holistic and high-impact learning experience.

FPF instructors hold regular office hours and teach their own discussion sections to maximize their ability to build relationships with their students. Year after year, our students have expressed that their instructors are one of the highlights of their first semester at Berkeley.  A few are highlighted below.

"You will love this program!  It is very nurturing to the students, and as a result, our students tend to do better in their university careers than students who never had the advantage of our program"

—Carolyn Tipton, FPF English Instructor

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Featured Instructors

At first glance, FPF instructor Arun Sharma seems to have one of the most difficult jobs: teaching calculus to students who need to take the class in order to fulfill a requirement and who may have no particular interest in the subject.

But after talking with Arun, it's clear that he has a great job. He’s not merely teaching calculus—a set of formulas that need to be memorized—but teaching a fascinating way of thinking that can open up other ways of comprehending material—be it math, science, English Lit and the list goes on.

Courses:
Mathematics 1A—Calculus (4 units)

A Berkeley graduate herself, Catherine Hollis is no stranger to English R1B.

 

She's been teaching this R&C class for the past 22 years now! And while she has seen different types of students enter her classroom during that tenure, Hollis has kept one thing consistent: face-to-face discussions about the material at hand.

Courses:
English R1B—Reading and Composition (4 units)

Kenneth Worthy is that rare combination of dedicated environmentalist, writer and teacher.

 

His course material connects students to real-world issues: access to natural resources and environmental preservation.

Courses:
Environmental Science Policy and Management 50AC—Introduction to Culture and Natural Resource Management (4 units)

When you attend Richie Kim’s Philosophy classes, don’t expect to be memorizing theories on self, thought, id and ego. 

Don’t expect to use the same learning and test-taking habits that got you through high school.

Courses:
Philosophy 2—Individual Morality and Social Justice (4 units)

Every spring, The American Cultures (AC) Center at UC Berkeley selects two recipients for the AC Excellence in Teaching Award.

This award recognizes “individual faculty’s exemplary teaching in the American Cultures curriculum” and for their “inspiring and sustained commitment to creating a learning space able to hold the multiple challenges and opportunities that teaching AC content requires.”

In 2020, our Dr. Seth Lunine, who teaches Geography 50AC: California, was honored in a virtual award ceremony.

Courses:
Geography 50AC—California (4 units)

 


Fall 2021 Instructors

Amy Lee

Courses:
English R1A—Reading and Composition (4 units), English R1B—Reading and Composition (4 units)

Aparajita Nanda

Courses:
English R1B—Reading and Composition (4 units), Gender and Women's Studies 50AC—Gender in American Culture (3 units)

Arun Sharma

Courses:
Mathematics 1A—Calculus (4 units)

Avril Angevine

Courses:
English R1A—Reading and Composition (4 units)

Bonnie Rauscher

Courses:
Integrative Biology 33—The Age of Dinosaurs (3 units)

Catherine Hollis

Courses:
English R1B—Reading and Composition (4 units)

Christine Gehrig-Downie

Courses:
Environmental Science Policy and Management 15—Introduction to Environmental Sciences (3 units)

Daniel Ayala

Courses:
College Writing R1A—Accelerated Reading and Composition (6 units)

Derrick Smith

Courses:
Mathematics 1B—Calculus (4 units)

Dolores McElroy

Courses:

Emily West

Courses:
Film 50—Film for Non-majors: California in the Cinematic Imagination (4 Units)

Gary Richards

Courses:
Anthropology 1—Introduction to Biological Anthropology (4 units)

Joe Horton

Courses:
College Writing R1A—Accelerated Reading and Composition (6 units)

Jonathan Whooley

Courses:
Political Science 2—Introduction to Comparative Politics (4 units)

Karina Palau

Courses:
Comparative Literature R1A—English Composition in Connection With the Reading of World Literature (4 units)

Kenneth Worthy

Courses:
Environmental Science Policy and Management 50AC—Introduction to Culture and Natural Resource Management (4 units)

Rachel Schmale

Courses:
Psychology 1—General Psychology (3 units)

Richard Patz

Courses:
Mathematics 10A—Methods of Mathematics: Calculus, Statistics, and Combinatorics (4 units)

Richie Kim

Courses:
Philosophy 2—Individual Morality and Social Justice (4 units)

Samantha Gervase

Courses:
History 7B (AC)—The United States From Civil War to Present (4 units)

Seth Lunine

Courses:
Geography 50AC—California (4 units)

Srijani Gosh

Courses:
English R1A—Reading and Composition (4 units)

Thien-Huong Ninh

Courses:
Sociology 3AC—Principles of Sociology: American Cultures (4 units)

Yasmin Syed

Courses:
Ancient Greek and Roman Studies 10A (formerly known as Classics 10A)—Introduction to Greek Civilization (4 units)