By Matt Kiernan
The Excellence in Teaching Awards ceremony honored CCSU professors who strive for exceptional methods of teaching and look to become major parts of their students’ educational experiences and lives.
“It’s really important that we get together and recognize those who excel,” said President Miller at the ceremony in the Bellin Gallery.
The recipients of the Excellence in Teaching Award were assistant professor of music John Seddon IV and professor of management and organization Kathleen Wall. They were joined as finalists for the award with assistant professor of teacher education Barbara Clark, associate professor of finance Joseph Farhat and associate professor of English Jason Jones.
“It’s even more poignant for me because the university’s mission is a teaching mission,” said Wall after receiving her award.
Other awardees in the ceremony were professors who were semi-finalists for the Excellence Award and those who made Honor Roll. Before the winners of the Excellence Award were read, professors were reminded throughout the ceremony that they were all winners because of the contributions they make to the university and differences they make in their students’ lives.
Every professor who attended heard comments from their students who wrote statements that affirmed their talents for teaching and influences they have on their classes.
“He always works until the job is done no matter how many tasks there are,” said a student about Seddon.
“On many occasions our class would stay longer just to learn about the lesson,” wrote a student about semi-finalist and Associate Professor of Criminal Justice Kathleen Bantley.
“His way of teaching made me rethink about my career goals,” wrote a student who changed their major to accounting after taking a government accounting class with Honor Roll member and Professor of Accounting John Rasimas.
A video was presented to professors of CCSU professors, who look to come up with interesting ways to draw their students’ attentions, which included English professor Jason Jones who uses internet applications such as Twitter and sometimes Facebook to keep his classes working together on class work.
A committee was formed to search for professors who were doing exceptional work in the classroom and started to receive nominations from students during the middle of April. Committee members visited classrooms without letting professors know of their presence to gain an idea of their ways of teaching and to look for those who deserved the awards the most.
“I’d like to thank my colleagues and my wife and dad but most of all my students,” said Seddon after receiving his award.
Winners of the awards presented papers in the Gallery that represented how they teach and the processes it takes to improve their methods. Professors who were finalists for the Excellence Award attended half-hour interviews to make the selections more personal and give them a more arduous process for finding who the right winners were.
Committee members were commended for the difficult work that was involved with finding the professors who won that required a lot of time and energy.