Teaching Excellence Award: All professors should be recognized

Mackenzie Burns, Staff Writer

With all of the requests for nominations for the Teaching Excellence Award, we all have been thinking about our favorite professors.

The award is meant to go to a professor who is engaging, challenging and who goes above and beyond.  Many students chose their favorite professor to nominate.  Personally, I have yet to meet a professor at Mercyhurst who does not qualify for the award.

I know I have only been taught by a handful of professors here, but I would definitely have a hard time choosing just one to call the best.

The first Mercyhurst professor I met was Brian Reed, Ph.D.  He taught my 8 a.m. English class where we all shared good laughs and sang show tunes every now and then.

I love that Reed is constantly using the phrase “I don’t know.”  College is intimidating for most freshmen.  It takes a lot of schooling and work to become a college professor, but it is nice for him to prove that professors do not always have all of the answers.

I also love how I could drop into his office for no reason and have an hour long conversation about anything.

Dennis Donovan, a retired state police sergeant, taught my first true major class, which put a heavy burden on his shoulders.  If I did not enjoy that class, I likely would not have stayed in my major.

Donovan tells it how it  really is.  He does not sugarcoat anything or make forensics seem “glamorous” like modern television.  For that, he has gained my respect.

I can honestly say Introduction to Forensic Science has been one of my favorite classes to date because I had a wonderful experience with a wonderful professor.

Heather Garvin, Ph.D., commented on the Teaching Excellence Award, saying it usually goes to the humanities professors over the science professors.

This is true, but in no way means science teachers are not worthy of recieving the award.  Garvin is a wonderful teacher.  She is very thorough and has a strong desire for her students to genuinely enjoy the material.

Garvin teaches Physical Anthropology, which can be controversial when it comes to certain religions.  She does an excellent job of being mindful of this fact, which is by no means an easy task.

My chemistry professor, Ronald Brown, Ph.D., is another great example of  anexcellent science teacher.  The material in his courses seemed to come naturally to me, and I know for sure that a good portion of that was due to his teaching style.

I am not saying the humanities professors are any less deserving than science professors.  If I had not made the decision to take American Government with Joseph Morris, Ph.D., I would not have realized what I wanted to do with my life.

I had no idea when I was registering for classes how influential a 100-level core class would be on the rest of my college career.  Because of this class, I decided to declare a double major.

Of course, I have had some professors that I like more than others.  All of my classes have had an impact on my life in one way or another.  I would rather look back on my years at Mercyhurst and remember having a series of excellent teachers, instead of only the “best” professor.