Published the week of November 15 in The Snapper.
Every year, Millersville holds a friendly competition that’s fueled by student nominations.
The Educator of the Year award seeks to reward the University’s professors who are putting themselves out there every single class, and who are helping students reach their goals for the future.
“Students might not understand how important the nominations are,” said Mary Sotomayor, graduate assistant for the psychology department, who is part of the nomination screenings. “The more nominations, the better.”
The award has been given out almost every year for the past six years. Last year’s recipient was Earth Sciences professor Sepideh Yalda.
“It may have great professional consequences for them,” said Sotomayor.
The prize this year has to do with professional development, which means assisting with anything the respective professor may need to further or finish their projects.
“We want to accommodate the award for the individual person,” Sotomayor said.
Personally, Sotomayor is looking for the applicants to have passion for their profession, and a passion for touching students’ lives, she said. “Someone who stands out as exceptionally hard working, devoted…” Sotomayor said.
Professor Yalda, last year’s recipient, emphasized the importance of nominating professors.
“It is very important for faculty to be recognized for their work and efforts,” Yalda said. “It helps to bring recognition and the student impacts, and awards like this are important for creating a positive environment, encourage and motivate everyone including students at the university.”
The criteria for the award are not clearly defined, as the things that make up a good professor are subjective and up to the students.
The deadline for the nominations are December 19, and the winner will be announced at a later date.