Dr. John Zubizarreta

Dr. John Zubizarreta, Ph.D.

Professor of English | Director of Honors

Edens Library | 303

(803) 786-3014 3315 Email


John Zubizarreta is Professor of English, Director of Honors, Past Director of Faculty Development, and former Dean of Undergraduate Studies at Columbia College. The 2010 Carnegie Foundation/CASE U.S. Professor for Baccalaureate Colleges and a former CASE Professor for South Carolina, John is also the recipient of several national and international teaching awards, including the 2018 National Collegiate Honors Council’s Sam Schuman Award for Excellence, the organization’s highest recognition for a faculty member at a four-year college or university.

Among his books and numerous chapters and journal publications, he is the author of The Learning Portfolio: Reflective Practice for Improving Student Learning (2nd ed. Jossey-Bass, 2009; 1st ed. Anker, 2004) and co-author of Breaking Barriers in Teaching and Learning (NCHC, 2018), Inspiring Exemplary Teaching and Learning: Perspectives on Teaching Academically Talented College Students (NCHC, 2008), and The Robert Frost Encyclopedia (Greenwood, 2001).

John is Past President of the National Collegiate Honors Council, the Southern Regional Honors Council, and the Popular Culture Association in the South. He has made presentations and led workshops at many regional, national, and international professional conferences; delivered keynote addresses worldwide; and collaborated with hundreds of students on panel presentations, publications, and undergraduate research. He sits on editorial and governing boards of several educational journals and organizations. He is also a ten-time medalist in U.S. national whitewater competition, an avid telemark skier, an aching runner, a moonstruck husband, and a doting father of two grown girls.

Awards & Accomplishments

  • 2019 Invited workshop. “Enhancing Students’ Reflective Practice with the Learning Portfolio.” U North Carolina, Greensboro. 29 Oct.
  • 2019 Institute co-leader. 4th Honors International Faculty Institute. Texas Christian U. 3-5 Jun.
  • 2018 NCHC Sam Schuman Award for Excellence at a Four-Year Institution.
  • 2018 Invited faculty development workshop: “Teaching Millennials” and “Using the Power of Critical Reflection for Significant Learning.” Northern Illinois U. 16-17 Aug.
  • 2018 Institute co-leader. 3rd Honors International Faculty Institute. Hanze U, Groningen, Netherlands. 4-6 June.
  • 2018 Invited speaker at S.C. Governor’s School for Science & Math, Hartsville, SC. 20 Apr.
  • 2018 Invited keynote and retreat workshop: “Learning Portfolios for Honors Learning and Program Assessment.” U.S. Air Force Academy. Colorado Springs, CO. 15-16 Mar.
  • 2018 Invited keynote address. Georgia Collegiate Honors Council. Macon, GA. 2-3 Feb.
  • 2017 Selected by the Chronicle of Higher Education as one of ten “Innovators 2017: 10 Classroom Blazers.” (CHE, vol. 64, no. 9, 27 Oct. 2017, pp. B28-29).
  • 2017 Invited faculty retreat workshop: “What is Honors?” and “Reflective Practice and Learning Portfolios for Enhancing and Assessing Honors Learning.” Florida Gulf Coast University Honors College, 11 Aug.
  • 2017 Institute co-leader. 2nd Honors International Faculty Institute. Texas Christian U. 18-20 May.
  • 2016 Invited workshop. “Learner-Centered Teacher Development to Evoke Excellence among Students.” Honours Futures: Utrecht Honours Conference. Utrecht, Netherlands. 2-3 Jun.
  • 2016 Institute co-leader. Honors International Faculty Institute. Hanze U, Groningen, Netherlands. 30 May-1 Jun.
  • 2016 Invited workshop. “What is ‘Honors’? Keys to Successful Honors Teaching and Learning.” Miami-Dade Honors College. 4 Feb.
  • 2015 Invited keynote and workshops. “Learning Portfolios for Critical Reflection and Deep Student Learning.” Teikyo University, Tokyo, Japan. 17 Dec.
  • 2015 Invited keynotes at Teikyo University and Association of Japanese Private Nursing Colleges and Universities (Tokyo); while in Japan, he was interviewed on the topics of active learning, professional and student portfolio development, and honors...
  • 2015 Ruth Garvey Cochener Fink Visiting Professor in Educational Leadership, Washburn University. Invited keynote on professional portfolio development and workshop on learning portfolios. 10-11 Sep.
  • 2010 Carnegie Foundation/CASE U.S. Professor for Baccalaureate Colleges.


  • “Good Practice: Improving and Assessing Honors Student Learning with Learning Portfolios.” Special Issue: Good Practices in Honors Education. Journal of the European Honors Council 3.1 (2019): 78-86.
  • Breaking Barriers in Teaching and Learning. With James Ford. NCHC, 2018. https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/nchcmono/33/.
  • “Foreword.” Honors Education in Transition. Vol. 3. Eds. Robert W. Glover and Katherine O’Flaherty. Rowman and Littlefield, 2017.
  • “Time for an RLM (Reflective Learning Moment).” It Works for Me, Metacognitively. Ed. Hal Blythe, et al. New Forums Press, 2016. 53-55.
  • “Foreword.” Talent Development in European Higher Education: Honors Programs in the Benelux, Nordic and German-Speaking Countries. By Marca V. C. Wolfensberger. Springer International Publishing, 2015. v-viii.
  • Review of Teaching for Excellence: Honors Pedagogies Revealed by Marca Wolfensberger (Münster: Waxmann, 2012). Tijdschrift Voor Hoger Onderwijs 31/32.4/1 (2013-14): 137-40.
  • “Learning as Salon: Honors International Collaboration.” With Christine Hait, Corinne Mann, Marca Wolfensberger, and students Mischa Dekker, Justin van Dijk, and Chantel Lucas. Preparing Tomorrow's Global Leaders: Honors International Education.
  • “Honors in the Master’s: A New Perspective?” By Stan van Ginkel, Pierre van Eijl, Albert Pilot, and John Zubizarreta. Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council 13.2 (Fall/Winter 2012): 265-78.
  • “The Power and Utility of Reflective Learning Portfolios in Honors.” With Christopher R. Corley. Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council 13.1 (Spring/Summer 2012): 63-76.
  • “Building a Community of Reflective Learners with Online Threaded Discussion Forums.” Fostering Knowledge Transfer. Proc. of 37th International Improving University Teaching. Innsbruck: U of Innsbruck, 2012.
  • “International Students and the Challenges of Honors.” With students Natalia Miteva and Gergana Yaneva. Setting the Table for Diversity. Ed. Lisa L. Coleman and Jonathan D. Kotinek. NCHC, 2010. 77-88.
  • “Class Size: Is Less More for Significant Learning?” To Improve the Academy. Vol. 28. Ed. Linda B. Nilson and Judith E. Miller. Jossey-Bass, 2010. 193-207.
  • “Talent Development in Higher Education and Society.” Foreword. Excellentie Is Mensenwerk. Ed. Jan Jaap Reinders and Wienkie Bulk. Lectoraat Excellentie in Hoger Onderwijs en Samenleving, 2010.
  • “A Passion for Excellence.” Honours in the Global World: Searching for Excellence. Ed. Marca Wolfensberger. Hanzehogeschool Groningen, 2009. Invited essay in Dutch publication.
  • The Learning Portfolio: Reflective Practice for Improving Student Learning. 2nd Ed. Jossey-Bass, 2009. https://www.wiley.com/en-us/The+Learning+Portfolio%3A+Reflective+Practice+for+Improving+Student+Learning%2C+2nd+Edition-p-9780470623633.
  • Inspiring Exemplary Teaching and Learning: Perspectives on Teaching Academically Talented College Students. With Larry Clark. NCHC, 2008. http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/nchcmono/2/
  • “The Academic Professional Portfolio.” The Academic Portfolio. By Peter Seldin and J. Elizabeth Miller. Jossey-Bass, 2008. 139-52.
  • “The Learning Portfolio: A Powerful Idea for Significant Learning,” IDEA Paper #44, Individual Development and Educational Assessment Center, 2008. Available: http://www.theideacenter.org.
  • Revisiting “Northern Exposure”: Critical Studies in Television. Vol. 1. Ed. Jimmie Cane, David Lavery, and John Zubizarreta. Manchester UP, 2006. Includes my essay “The Double Motif in Northern Exposure,” 74-80.
  • “The Professional Portfolio: Expanding the Value of Portfolio Development.” Evaluating Faculty Performance: A Practical Guide to Assessing Teaching, Research, and Service. Ed. Peter Seldin. Anker, 2006. 201-16.
  • The Learning Portfolio: Improving Students’ Learning through Reflective Practice. 1st Ed. Anker Publishing, 2004. www.josseybass.com.
  • “Improving Honors Teaching and Learning with Collaborative Critical Response: A Method Of Formative Midterm Assessment.” National Honors Report 24.2 (Summer 2003): 20-23.
  • “Valerie Sayers.” Catholic Women Writers. Ed. Mary Reichardt. Greenwood, 2001.
  • The Robert Frost Encyclopedia. Co-editor, Nancy L. Tuten. Greenwood, 2001. http://www.abc-clio.com/AboutUs/Imprints/
  • “Teaching Robert Frost.” Robert Frost Review Fall 2000: 69-74. Commissioned essay.
  • “Using the Teaching Portfolio to Enhance the Development of Student Teachers.” Great Beginnings: Designs for Beginning Teachers. Ed. Ira Hayes. Conference on English Leadership Monograph. National Council of Teachers of English, 1998. 181-87.
  • “A Context and Case for Reflective Practice: Improving Teaching through Teaching Portfolio Revisions.” Inspiring Teaching: Carnegie Professors of the Year Speak. Ed. John K. Roth. Anker, 1997. 123-33.
  • “Octavio Paz and Robert Frost: El polvo y la nieve que se deshacen entre las manos.” Comparative Literature 47 (1995): 235-50.
  • “Place, Ownership, and Sin in Flannery O’Connor.” Humanities in the South 79 (Fall 1995): 5-8.
  • “Teaching Portfolios for Improvement and Evaluation of Honors Teaching.” The National Honors Report 15.4 (1995): 39-42.
  • “The Disparity of Point of View in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” Literature/Film Quarterly 22 (1994): 62 69.
  • “Gabriela Mistral: The Great Singer of Mercy and Motherhood.” Christianity and Literature 42 (1993): 295-311.
  • “T. S. Eliot and D. H. Lawrence: The Relationship and Influence.” English Language Notes 31.1 (1993): 61 72.
  • “Eliot’s ‘Gerontion’ and Frost’s ‘An Old Man’s Winter Night’: Counterparts of Modernism.” Robert Frost Review Fall 1993: 62 69.
  • “Fishing for Art in the Art of Fishing: John Hersey’s Blues.” Studies in Popular Culture 15.1 (1992): 47 59.
  • “The Woman Who Sings No No No: Love, Freedom, Rebellion, and Renewal in the Poetry of Forugh Farrokhzad.” World Literature Today 66 (1992): 421 26.
  • “Darío, Stevens, & Paz: The Modernist Connection.” South Atlantic Review 56.1 (1991): 47 60.
  • “The Intertextual Intrigue of Carlos Fuentes’s Aura.” MIFLC Review: Journal of the Mountain Interstate Foreign Language Conference 1 (October 1991): 139 48.
  • “Aura.” By Carlos Fuentes. Cyclopedia of Literary Characters II. Ed. Frank N. Magill. Pasadena: Salem Press, 1990. 90.