Students given chance to honor professors

For many students, it’s easy to come up with a faculty member on campus who has made a significant impact in their education. Why not give them the recognition they deserve through the Student Nominated Teaching Award?

Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning Director Aeron Haynie said the Instructional Development Committee created the award.

“The IDC decided we should have an award that’s directly tied to the students,” Haynie said, “and that’s where the Student Nominated Teaching Award came from. What’s really special about this is it’s generated by students, so it’s all their input and very student driven.”

The nominating is done electronically, and students can decide if they want to be anonymous or give their name. To qualify for the award, professors must receive two or more nominations. A committee receives  statements from the students, and decides on a winner for two different categories.

“One award goes out to a professor who is teaching early in their career and one who has been here a while,” Haynie said.

Besides winning the Student Nominated Teaching Award and holding that title, the two selected instructors often gain more intrinsic honors. Professor Ekaterina Levintova, last year’s winner of the Early Career award said she was glad to know she was reaching students.

“I was so touched to receive this award,” Levintova said. “One of the people who nominated me read two statements that were very touching. The classes I was teaching were to prepare students, challenge them and make the learning process more tailored to students. Some of the students said really nice things about the class and what they got out of it. We as instructors teach the students, and that’s the biggest compliment that somebody can give — that it resonates to students on some levels.”

Students who wish to pay tribute to an instructor can fill out a nomination form, which is available at The deadline for nominations is March 1.

For two winning participants, it is possible for student nominations to make an instructor feel like his or her hard work has paid off.

“When I learned about winning this award, I had to close the door to my office and yell in excitement because it was really meaningful to me,” Levintova said. “I’m very student-oriented, and to have this honor from students is just incredible. At the end of the year, I was just thinking about the highlights of the year, and this was definitely one of them.”