Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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Students honor top faculty

Students shared humorous anecdotes about professors andadministrators and thanked them for their dedication duringAssociated Student Government’s faculty and administrator honorroll Tuesday afternoon.

About 100 people gathered in the Louis Room in Norris UniversityCenter for the ceremony, which was organized by students. Some1,600 students voted online in mid-April, and of the 600 peoplenominated, 60 were selected to receive awards.

The presenters told personal stories about the professors whoinspired them not only to come to class every day — even at 9 a.m.– but also to carry important lessons outside of the classroom.Students praised faculty members who challenged them to workthrough difficult material, whether it was a foreign language or anengineering course, and talked about the compassion thatadministrators showed when dealing with students.

Chemistry Prof. Sonbinh Nguyen, the only professor to speak tothe audience after receiving his award, said faculty appreciatereceiving positive feedback from students.

“It’s nice having the students recognize that we’re actuallydoing something right,” Nguyen said. “It’s really the students whoteach me to be a better teacher.”

Kathryn Schumaker, a Weinberg sophomore who introduced Nguyen,spoke about appreciating Nguyen’s ability to help nervous studentscalm down before tests and his dedication to learning 200names.

“On behalf of all of those hyperventilating premeds,” Schumakersaid, “thank you for trying, if not succeeding, in actually makingorganic chemistry fun.”

Susan Morris, a Weinberg sophomore, shared a story about how shestruggled in foreign language classes in middle and high schoolbefore taking an NU class with German Lecturer John Paluch. Morrissaid she was inspired by Paluch to become a German major, andPaluch said he was flattered to have such an influence on hisstudents.

“It’s sort of humbling to think that what you do and what youenjoy doing will impact someone like that,” Paluch said.

Some students who presented the awards did not know theprofessors from the classroom. Tina Shah, who presented an award tomathematics Prof. Eric Zaslow, said she never took a class with himbut was intrigued after hearing the professor speak abouthigher-level math at a Shepard Residential College fireside.

“Zaslow is so cool that I go to office hours just to be in hispresence,” said Shah, a Weinberg sophomore.

ASG officers recognized the outstanding administrators as partof the ceremony. Nicole Mash, former ASG executive vice president,explained how Norris Director Bill Johnston always is accommodatingwhen students have problems.

“Any time anything went awry this year, which was often,” saidMash, a Weinberg senior, “I went to Bill’s office.”

Prajwal Ciryam, ASG academic vice president, said he was pleasedwith the ceremony, which highlighted “the only teaching awardsselected solely by students.”

“I talked to a lot of profs who were very gratified by theceremony and enjoyed it,” said Ciryam, a Weinberg freshman. “That’swhat it’s all about.”

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Students honor top faculty