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Finalists for A&S Professor of the Year announced

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="357"][/caption] The nominations are in, the students have been heard. The finalists for the 2015-16 College of Arts and Sciences Professor of the Year Award were announced on April 25. According to an email sent out by the college, the finalists are Dr. Allan Blake, biological sciences associate professor; Dr. Wyatt Murphy, chemistry and biochemistry professor; and Dr. John Pai takes, senior faculty associate in the criminal justice department. The Arts and Sciences Professor of the Year will be awarded at 5 p.m. on May 2 in the Main Lounge at the 35th Annual Student Leadership Awards. Christopher Kaiser, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Student Services and Enrollment Management, said in an email interview that “The Professor of the Year Award acknowledges one full time faculty member for their dedication and services as a professor, mentor and role model to the Seton Hall community.” The second round of online voting closed at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 26. The winner of the award will be selected after the Dean’s Undergraduate Student Cabinet Chair tabulates the votes for the three faculty members, according to Kaiser. The Dean’s Undergraduate Student Cabinet Chair is Dana Domenick, a junior psychology major. The professors who go “above and beyond” to ensure their students receive the best academic experience possible deserve recognition for their time and effort, Domenick said. “From anatomy to western literature to Spanish, I’ve learned and retained so much because of the dedicated professors I’ve been lucky enough to have,” Domenick added. An estimated 20 nominations are entered for Arts and Sciences faculty each year with no professor winning the award more than once, Kaiser said. Last year’s recipient was Dr. Heping Zhou, associate professor in the Biological Sciences department. “I have always embraced teaching and mentoring our students with enthusiasm and passion, and this award is a means of recognition that I must have “done something right,” Zhou said in an email interview. Zhou teaches undergraduate courses, such as General Biology and Forensic Biology, and graduate courses, such as Recombinant DNA technology. “Besides the teaching in the classroom, I have been devoting my time to conducting research and mentoring students in my laboratory, services in our department and college, and continuing to update teaching materials and integrate technology into technology,” Zhou said. The College of Arts and Sciences Professor of the Year Award was established in 2010 through the Dean’s Office and the Dean’s Undergraduate Student Cabinet as a way for students to recognize faculty within the college, according to Kaiser. “Our nearly 190 full time faculty members are consistently some of the best faculty in their discipline across the country,” Kaiser said. “Offering our students the opportunity to recognize at least one (faculty member) a year for exemplary teaching and service is one way our students can show their appreciation.” Leah Carton can be reached at


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