POLITICAL SCIENCE PROFESSOR Eric Oifer has been named by Santa Monica College’s Academic Senate as the 2012 SMC Faculty of the Year.

Eric Oifer, a political science professor at Santa Monica College who has written several articles for academic journals, has been honored as the college’s 2012 Faculty of the Year.
In naming the winner, the SMC Academic Senate also announced that it is nominating Oifer for the statewide Hayward Award, which honors outstanding community college faculty who have a track record of excellence in teaching and professional activities and have demonstrated commitment to their students, profession and college. The Hayward Award is sponsored by the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges.
“Eric Oifer is an incredibly fine human being, colleague, scholar and instructor and a dedicated environmentalist and global citizen,” said SMC Academic Senate President Janet Harclerode. “We are proud to nominate him for the Hayward Award and grateful for the opportunity to extol his service.”
Oifer has taught a variety of political science courses at SMC since 1999, including political philosophy, environmental politics and the politics of gender. A Marina del Rey resident, he received his Ph.D. in political theory from USC.
“This honor makes me think of a favorite quote by naturalist Ben Gadd – ‘I am lucky beyond words. I have all three things needed to make me happy: I live in a place I love, with people I love, doing work I love to do,’” Oifer said. “It is an incredible honor to be recognized by my colleagues in this way.”
Oifer is the author of several articles in academic journals and has presented widely throughout the state at scholarly and academic organization conferences on topics ranging from “Masochism and the Military-Style Education” to “Improving Institutional Effectiveness.”
Oifer served as Academic Senate president in 2009-11 and has served on countless academic and planning committees. Currently, he is chair of the Academic Senate Environmental Affairs Committee.
SMC officials note that as a teacher, Oifer not only challenges his students intellectually but also seeks to help them discover purpose in their lives and develop grit. He developed and is spearheading SMC’s recently adopted GRIT (Growth, Resilience, Integrity, Tenacity) initiative, which suggests that “grit and perseverance, rather that test scores and grades, are the keys to student success in school and in life.”
Recently, he has focused much of his attention on environmental issues and has “greened” his curriculum, SMC officials note.