The search is on for ‘excellent’ faculty, staff

By Courtney Klaus, Editor-In-Chief

Know a professor who always maintains control of the class with impeccable organization and creativity? Maybe you want to show some love to the staff member who has always improved your day with a positive attitude?

Now is the time when you can give these faculty and staff some recognition.

The nominations for the Faculty Teaching Excellence Award and the Staff Excellence Award opened on Monday, and all Newman students, staff and faculty will have the opportunity to nominate candidates until March 7.

The Faculty Teaching Excellence Award is presented to one faculty member who has demonstrated an innovative or dynamic approach to courses, course revisions and teaching techniques. Last year’s award was presented to late professor of communication, Suzanne Berg.

The Staff Excellence Award is presented to one staff member who goes above and beyond in the performance of his or her job duties. Last year’s award was presented to Tina Ast, former administrative assistant for the School of Nursing and Allied Health, who now works in Finance and Administration.

The awards are presented at the Academic Awards Banquet in April. The winners receive $1,000 and the faculty winner typically gives a speech at graduation.

To receive a nomination, the faculty or staff member must have been hired at Newman before July 7, 2017, and cannot have already received the award within the past five years.

People can submit nominations using the surveymonkey that Sister Charlotte Rohrbach emailed out on Monday. Up until recently, the nominations were a more involved process that involved collecting and delivering nominations in person, Faculty Teaching Excellence Committee member Cheryl Golden said.

Barbara Sponsel, another member of the Teaching Excellence Committee, said the committee was “very pleased” with the increase in the number of nominations they got after switching to an online survey.

Once the nominations are received they are transferred in a file to either the Teaching Excellence Committee or the Staff Excellence Committee. The committees consist of two people who have won the award in the past, an additional faculty or staff member,  the provost, and a student representative. The committees change every year.

Golden said nominees are selected based on a combination of both the number of nominations and the quality of nominations, where meaningful details must be given.

“We hope that everyone will be prepared to offer a paragraph on why this person is so deserving. It’s always great if you can provide an example,” Golden said.

Student Government Association President Marisa Zayat serves on the Faculty Teaching Excellence Committee, while Thao Nguyen, SGA Vice President, serves on the Staff Excellence Committee.

“I think it’s important for us to recognize someone who represents the Newman community well,” Nguyen said. “The staff especially, because they can have as much of an impact on students lives as faculty do.”

PHOTO: TINA AST was last year’s recipient of the Staff Excellence Award. Courtesy Photo, Newman Advancement.