Teaching excellence nominations open

Bella Lee, Staff writer

As it begins to near the end of the spring semester, it is time to start thinking about who is deserving of the Teaching Excellence Award. This award is given annually to an outstanding member of the faculty.

This award was established to recognize contributions to the intellectual life of the university, to honor faculty members who embody excellence in all aspects of teaching, including advising, mentoring, teaching the mission and engaging students in their learning.

Students, faculty and alumni are invited to nominate someone for this award, and those who have won before cannot win again.

Criteria to consider when nominating someone can include outstanding teaching effectiveness both within and outside the classroom, teaching that demonstrates a commitment to excellence, helping students discover their passions and develop a dedication to life-long learning and showing extraordinary success in providing intensive individual research experiences for students.

Receiving this award has been a great honor for those that have received it.

“I remember feeling what an honor it was to be acknowledged by students and peers as belonging in the company of the excellent teachers at Mercyhurst,” said Joanne Hosey-McGurk, Ph.D., Vice President for Academic Affairs, who received the award in 2008.

“There have been many extraordinary teachers here, so it was humbling to be considered one of them,” McGurk said. “Though I received the award many years ago, I still consider it an honor, and one that I have tried to live up to every year since. Our founder, Mother Borgia Egan, was said to have ‘made education a glorious and triumphant thing’ for all the students at Mercyhurst. I feel that as a mandate for what I’m supposed to be doing here.”

Chris Magoc, Ph.D., professor of History, who received the award in 2012, said receiving the award stunned and humbled him. “To join such previous recipients—Mercyhurst luminaries—as Mike Campbell, Phil Belfiore, Brian Ripley, and Alice Edwards…it felt like I had been selected to the Mercyhurst Hall of Fame—by mistake,” Magoc said.

“Eleven years later, it remains the highest of all honors of my professional life as a teacher-scholar. And to have my family, including my parents there, meant more to me than I can express.”

Brian Ripley, Ph.D., Professor of Political Science and recipi- ent of the award in 2013, shares this same excitement and honor. “Mercyhurst is a very special place to me,” Ripley said. “I won a teaching award at my previous institution but earning the respect and recognition from my Mercyhurst colleagues and students meant so much more.”

If you know a faculty member that is deserving of the Teaching Excellence Award, the nomination form is currently up on the Student Hub.

There are plenty of faculty members who are more than deserving of this honor, so nominate a professor of yours today!

Part of what makes Mercyhurst so special is its small class sizes, giving professors the opportunity to connect with their students on a deeper level and thus enriching the education of students.

This personalized appeal gives students the chance to become familiar with professors, so consider showing some attention to your favorite pro- fessor by nominating them.