’Hurst to recognize teaching excellence

Each year Mercyhurst University takes the time to recognize a professor with a positive impact on students and faculty.

The opportunity to nominate faculty for this year’s award is now available online on the Office for Academic Affairs’ portal page, as well as on paper forms found in Old Main 104. Nominations will be accepted through Friday, April 4.

This year’s recipient of the award will be announced on Friday, May 9, during the Faculty Reception.

The award’s tradition began in 1990 when Mercyhurst received a grant from the Sears-Roebuck Foundation’s Teaching Award Program, according to the Office for Academic Affairs.

Nominations begin six weeks before a committee of the past award recipients gathers with the information and select the current year’s winner.

Philip Belfiore, vice president for Academic Affairs, is then responsible for informing the winner, who is later presented with a plaque and $1,000 at the end of the year.

Such an award is particularly significant for Mercyhurst, a school that prides itself on affording close interaction between faculty and students.

Previous recipients of the award noted its prominence.

“I was especially pleased to win the award because of the faculty who had previously won,” said Mercyhurst Political Science Department Chair Michael Federici, Ph.D. “To be considered with the likes of colleagues who I had long admired for their teaching excellence was an honor.”

Federici felt the importance teachers put on their students and their learning added to the honor.

“To win the award and be recognized for stellar teaching is important at a place like Mercyhurst,” he said.

Professor Randy Clemons, Ph.D., also in the Political Science Department, said that he accepted the award “both as a representative of the Mercyhurst faculty as a whole for their commitment and efforts and support,” as well as in honor of the past people and teachers in his life who inspired him and who “provided the key shoulders” that he walks “on intellectually.”

Brian Ripley, Ph.D., is the most recent professor to receive the recognition.

“I was very honored and humbled to receive the Teaching Excellence Award,” Ripley said. “I feel very motivated to try to become a better teacher now that the pressure is on.”