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Meet Richard Lopez, a Distinguished Educator

Richard Lopez The inspiration to bestow the Distinguished Educator Award on Richard Lopez came with the thunderous applause that greeted him at the Math Performance Success celebration in 2007. The affection and respect expressed by his students and colleagues were compelling testimony to his brilliance as an instructor.

Lopez has been teaching math at De Anza for 10 years and has a B.S. in mathematics from UC Davis and an M.A. in mathematics from CSU Sacramento.

As for his teaching philosophy, Lopez says, "I think I will always approach things as a person who feels he is new and knows very little about what he is doing! Short of that, I think good teaching comes from being prepared and from having high expectations of your students and yourself," he says. "A class should have elements of the old, elements of the new, a bit of suspense and a satisfying ending. Of course, humor never hurts."

Lopez used to play "teacher" at home with his little brothers when he was young. "I suppose I was always interested in teaching. It wasn't until I was in college and had some very talented instructors did I start to think about teaching as a profession."
Before teaching, Lopez says he really had no career path, just several interests. "If I had not become an instructor, I think I would have done something in astronomy or physics. Either that or stand-up comedian."

Like so many of our instructors, Lopez loves the diversity of De Anza. "I have learned so much from the wonderful students, from the wonderful people who work in our department, and from all the amazing things I've experienced in my time here. I'm very honored and humbled to receive this award."

Office of Instruction
Building: ADM 128

Contact: Olga Evert
Phone: 408.864.8940


Last Updated: 10/23/08