William Pollak

The William Pollak Award for Excellence in Teaching at SSA is given to a member of the SSA faculty for exemplary graduate teaching. Given annually until 2003, the award is now presented every other year. On the occasion of his retirement, several of Professor Pollak's former students, colleagues, and others generously committed gifts to create an endowed fund which bears his name and which generates a cash prize for the award winner.

Regular, full-time faculty members from any division or professional school who teach SSA students are eligible for nomination. Nominations and selection are based on the faculty member's contributions to classroom teaching which enriches, deepens, and makes more rigorous the thinking and knowledge that students will bring to learning and doing throughout their careers. Students are asked to submit letters of support and a faculty committee makes the final selection.

Professor Pollak was a faculty member at SSA for 26 years, from 1976 to 2002. He taught courses that introduced students to economic analysis and that applied economics to a range of issues in social welfare. He also served as Associate Dean for Administration from 1983 to 1986, and as Deputy Dean for the Faculty from 1998 to 2001. He was the 1997-1998 recipient of the teaching award, which was renamed on his retirement in 2002.


SSA proudly recognizes the following teaching award winners:

2017: Yanilda Gonzalez
2015: Matthew W. Epperson
2013: Alida M. Bouris
2011: William Sites
2009: Susan Lambert and Stanley McCracken
2007: Judith A. Levine
2005: Gina M. Samuels
2003: Thomas Keller
2002: Waldo Johnson Jr.
2001: Julia R. Henly
2000: William Borden
1999: Karen Teigiser
1998: William Pollak
1997: Dolores Norton
1996: Sharon Berlin
1995: Melissa Roderick

Kathleen Valadez, AM ’16

Kathleen Valadez, AM ’16

"SSA is so special because it gives you access to much more than a classroom. You can become part of groundbreaking research, participate in important advocacy work in communities organizing for social justice, or collaborate with students across campus on interdisciplinary projects."