Professor Asifa Quraishi-Landes was the recipient of this year’s Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award, an honor given out since 1953 to recognize some of the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s finest educators.
“Professor Quraishi-Landes encourages her students to be mindful of all the complexities and contradictions of the law,” said University of Wisconsin Law School Dean Daniel Tokaji. “Her classroom is a nonjudgmental space for students to express their views and learn from one another. It’s hard to imagine a more worthy recipient of this year’s Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award.”
As the University’s announcement of the award puts it: “Quraishi-Landes’s student and peer evaluations create a consistent picture of a dynamic, rigorous, motivating teacher who encourages diverse viewpoints and affirmatively seeks to foster open discussion.”
Riley Palmer, a third-year UW Law student, nominated Quraishi-Landes for the award, calling her “a dedicated, responsive, and caring educator.”
“Professor Quraishi-Landes changed the trajectory of my law school education and likely of my legal career.”
“Her rigorous teaching pushed me to develop a deep understanding of constitutional jurisprudence that will be with me for years to come,” said Palmer. “Rarely have I been simultaneously challenged and supported to the degree I was by Professor Quraishi-Landes.”
According to Palmer, when teaching at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Quraishi-Landes “continuously adapted to changing circumstances while remaining patient with students’ many unusual challenges at that time.”
“Her commitment to ensuring students have the tools we need to succeed is one of many traits that makes her a superior educator,” said Palmer. “Professor Quraishi-Landes changed the trajectory of my law school education and likely of my legal career. I am extraordinarily grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from her. It is appropriate and well-deserved that the University selected her for the Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award.”
Quraishi-Landes specializes in comparative Islamic and U.S. constitutional law, with a current focus on modern Islamic constitutional theory. She is a 2009 Carnegie Scholar and 2012 Guggenheim Fellow. She joined eleven other UW faculty members honored with Distinguished Teaching Awards in 2022.
“I love hearing from a student that they expected to be bored by the class but something in my teaching style made it come alive for them,” said Quraishi-Landes. “I’m so lucky to be in a place that gives me the space to be creative in my teaching style so I can help facilitate those moments for our students.”
By Kassandra Tuten