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Professor of the Year' award introduced in Arts and Sciences

Students across campus are now able to vote for the Professor of the Year in the College of Arts and Sciences. The nomination process will run through Feb. 20, after which the Arts and Sciences senators of the Student Government Association will select five finalists.

Students will then have the opportunity to vote for one of the five, and the winner will be announced May 7 at the Student Leadership Awards.

"This was the brainchild of former dean Molly Smith," Dean of Arts and Sciences Joseph Marbach said. "She wanted to recognize the importance of teaching in addition to research."

Marbach said he has been working with SGA senators since 2006 in order to establish this award and this is the first year it has been successful.

"For one reason or another, previous senators were unable to establish this process, this year the students worked with Associate Dean Christopher Kaiser who provided some guidance," Marbach said.

The process for the award includes a form on for students to nominate professors.

"Anyone who has taken classes in Arts and Sciences can nominate professors and, considering most of the students on campus have to (take an Arts and Science class) at some point no matter what major they are, we figure anyone will be able to nominate (professors)," Arts and Sciences Sen. Melissa Boege said.

Students are able to access the nomination form either through a Facebook group or the broadcast e-mail sent out on Jan. 30. Only students will be able to vote as the former Dean Smith wished the award to be student given, according to Marbach.

The nomination form consists of a section about the nominator and also requires a narrative about why the nominee should receive the award. The winner will be presented with a plaque and $1,000.

As of now, the Professor of the Year award will be limited to the College of Arts and Sciences, but Arts and Sciences Sen. Dana Kappel would like to see it expand to the whole school.

"I would like to see each school have a Professor of the Year Award and then out of each winner of each school, the whole student body would vote for an overall Seton Hall Professor of the Year," Kappel said. Marbach also would like to see the award spread to other schools but is aware that not everyone has the funding.
"If the College of Arts and Sciences award proves successful, perhaps the provost will sponsor additional ones and a university wide award, like he does for research," Marbach said. The College of Arts and Sciences got the funding for their award through a grant from Smith.

The Arts and Sciences senators will pick the five finalists prior to Spring Break and the voting for the overall winner will commence on March 14 and finish on April 5.

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"The College of Arts and Sciences is blessed with many excellent teachers," Marbach said, "I predict that the student senators will have a difficult chore in choosing one."

Jenna Berg can be reached at


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