Every student has had one: a professor who simply does the bare minimum. Then there are those who go out of their way to create an exciting class, turning a group of grumbling students into a group of passionate, hard-working scholars.
USF Lakeland’s (USFL) Student Government (SG) acknowledges exactly these professors who go beyond the classroom. This past fall, USFL SG introduced the USF Lakeland Outstanding Faculty Award to recognize those professors who contribute to the campus community.
Each semester, students submit packets with the names of their faculty nominees to SG. This, however is not just a popularity contest – students must fill out a nomination form, present the nominee’s portfolio and write a recommendation letter stating why they feel their professor deserves the award. The Senate then selects the best nominee.
Assistant professor of marketing Andrew Artis received the award for fall 2007. He said he feels that it’s a great idea that students can recognize their professors.
“By them controlling this (nomination), they are really keeping the focus on what are the characteristics for good teachers,” Artis said. “Even more important, the students establish what are the standards they want in the classroom.”
USFL SG Vice President Zach Crum feels the hard work of professors should be appreciated.
“There’s always one or two teachers that you definitely remember from college,” Crum said. “I’ve had two or three teachers that I’ll take over and over for different subjects.”
The winner of spring 2008 will be announced before April 25, and a banquet will be held in his or her honor.
USFL SG President Stacey Pouliot ultimately wants students to vote on their favorite professor.
“It’s hard to keep the tradition going,” she said. “We don’t have that many nominations.”
Tampa campus Student Body Vice President Faran Abbasi said he commends USFL SG for its initiative.
He said the Tampa SG holds a banquet honoring the faculty and staff that have helped SG throughout the year, but he thinks USFL SG’s award is innovative.
“That’s a great idea that we can consider,” Abbasi said. “Anyone in a profession that educates doesn’t get enough recognition. They have the ability to shape everyone they work with.”
Faculty Appreciation Day, held yearly by Greek Life at USF Tampa during Greek Week, was Tuesday.
“We feel it’s important to have something like that each year,” director of Greek Week Jessica Tweed said.
In previous years, Greek chapters would nominate the faculty or staff member they wanted to be considered and recognize him or her in a banquet.
“This year, we’ve decided to make it more fun and have a carnival,” Tweed said. Greek Life also decided to include all faculty members.
After this spring, USFL SG will make the award program an annual one. The award will be given out at the end of the spring semester.
“We don’t want to lose the prestige of the award,” Pouliot said.