All Ratings and Reviews for Mark Sawyer
Professor Sawyer was one of my lecturers in my Interracial Dynamics cluster. When it was his turn to lecture, I generally enjoyed him. He is very friendly and nice, and likes to make jokes/keep lectures lighthearted. His availability wasn't too high due to some health issues, but he was almost always in class on the days that it was his turn to lecture. Otherwise, he wasn't there. He's easy to listen to and I thought his lectures were interesting!
I took Sociology of Race & Labor (M165) with Sawyer and found it to be a very interesting and easy course. Sawyer is very articulate and passionate and definitely knows what he's talking about. The grade was based on section (which was weighted quite heavily), a midterm, & a take home final. The class covered historical and contemporary topics ranging from slavery to unions and featured lots of films so it was fun. I felt like I walked away with a much better understanding of labor issues and definitely enjoyed the day-to-day lectures of the course.
I did study abroad with Professor Sawyer in Puerto Rico with the hopes that he could be my adviser for research. It was the best decision of my life to take that trip, because him as my adviser would have been TERRIBLE! He was more concerned being on vacation than teaching us anything- all he did was tell stories about his own life that barely had anything to do with the course material. He was unapproachable and really made me feel like I had wasted my money and time being there (IN PUERTO RICO! Seriously smh).
I don't know how he is in an actual classroom at UCLA, but I won't bother trying to find out. His lack of professionalism and uninvolved attitude has put me off ever wanting to take a class with him again.
Professor Sawyer really likes to give his students hands-on experience with the material he is talking about (i.e. for our seminar he brought in music samples, we got to see live drummers and play them ourselves to get a feel for the rythms, he offered to set up a field trip to a salsa club if we showed enough interest, etc.). He definitely knows what he is talking about, but it is sometimes difficult to carry a good discussion in his class. If you choose to take any of his classes or lectures, good choice - he keeps things real. You are expected to work, but he is very understanding if you ever need more time on anything - you don't need to make up stories, just talk to him about whatever your situation may be. I highly recommend Professor Sawyer to anyone who enjoys getting involved in what they're learning as opposed to just being lectured about it.
While having a clearly identifiable political orientation, Sawyer is fairminded and well versed in metropolitan based politics. If you want a good introduction to urban theory and political machinery, take a course with him.
Professor Sawyer's courses are clearly structured by expertise. Throughout my three years at UCLA, Professor Sawyer has been one of the most accessible and enlightening professors. For students interested in learning about urban politics, African American politics or about U.S. and Cuba relations, I highly recommend courses taught my Professor Sawyer in the political science department.
Professor Sawyer is denfinitely the professor to take. He's easy, geniuenely concerned if you learn about the subject, and has extensive experience on Latin American and Carribean countries. His grading is great, I got an A- without doing a lot of work. Don't miss out on an opportunity to take him!
Professor Sawyer is one of the best professors I have encountered at UCLA. He is genuinely concerned about his students and will bend over backwards to get your questions answered. If you would like a truly caring professor who is well versed in everything urban politics then this is the professor for you.
The scope of the course is interesting enough, yet Sawyer failed to provide a framework through which to pursue the various issues in african american politics. lectures were cursory and failed to expound on ANY issues. the text was mediocre at best, as it present case studies and excerpts which, while affording varying perspectives, themselves only touched superficially on relevant topics. i hade high hopes for this class, as my TA was amiable and knowledgable, but sawyer was unable to convey his expertise or insight (if present...) on the subject. the tests and assignments are obscenely easy, and actually had me asking for more...
Excellent Professor a lot of fun.
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