The Rollins professors have the dual responsibility of molding their students’ minds and having an influence over their lives, which is why the Professing Excellence Award was created back in 2009. This award is meant to honor the professors who the students believe did an exemplary job teaching them and had the biggest impact on developing their identities as young adults.
“We look for professors who have gone above and beyond to connect with their students… professors who have made a difference in their lives,” says Whitney McDonald, assistant director of Residential Life and director of the Professing Excellence Award.
In order to nominate a professor, students must fill out a form attached to an e-mail sent out at the beginning of the semester. The nominations represent the commitment that the faculty has displayed toward Rollins and Rollins’ students. The search committee relies strongly on the nominations, which is why the students are asked to be as thorough as possible with their answers so the committee understands why that faculty member is the appropriate person to receive the award.
The window of opportunity to nominate a professor closes Feb. 21. Residential Life will host a reception for the nominees and for those who nominated their professors on March 2. So far, there have only been eight nominations, so it is important that students take advantage of the opportunity to honor their favorite professors before the competition closes.
“It is important for us to collaborate with the academic side [of the college]… and to see the value in performing well academically,” said McDonald. “We want to support them [the professors] in their efforts… the faculty who have done the best based on the student nomination will receive the Professing Excellence Award.”
The winning professors will receive an engraved plaque that will be added to a larger plaque now hanging in the Res. Life office. All of the nominees will also receive a certificate to recognize their participation.
Last year, there were 14 nominations. The winners were Dr. Eric Smaw and Dr. Scott Hewit. “We hope that several students will nominate their professors because we know that the faculty is making a positive impact on lives,” concluded McDonald.