Holly Burke

The Academic Senate began accepting nominations for the Distinguished Teaching Award Oct. 24 and will continue to accept nominations through Dec. 2. The award honors student-nominated professors for excellence in teaching and began at Cal Poly in 1964.

Some students, like kinesiology junior Vanessa Farrer, are eager to nominate their favorite teacher.

“I would like to nominate Dr. Seth Bush, who teaches CHEM 127,” she said. “He’s just always approachable. He volunteers an hour and a half outside of the lecture time to go over chemistry problems. He has a young mind and is very well educated.”

Dan Tedrow, a mechanical engineering junior, knows he will not be nominating anyone.

“I can’t think of any teachers I’ve liked so far,” he said. “Most teachers that I’ve had I wouldn’t nominate. I’m sure there’s some good teachers here though.”

Former award-winners visit and evaluate the nominated teachers. Winners are chosen by their course material, enthusiasm, professional development, concern for student success and other criteria.

Cal Poly English professor John Hampsey was one of three to win the award last year. He has been teaching at Cal Poly since 1989.

“To me the award is an honor intrinsically,” he said. “I’ve been teaching for 28 years. The Distinguished Teaching award is an important award because it came from the students. Then it was scrutinized by my colleagues and peers. I’m really honored by it. I was humbled and touched.”

Last year, Hampsey published a book called “Paranoia and Contentment, A Personal Essay on Western Thought.”

Horticulture and crop science professor David Headrick and electrical engineering professor Fred DePiero were also given the award last year. The professors were presented with the award during last years’ spring commencement ceremonies. The award is paid for by the Cal Poly Alumni Association.

For more information about the Distinguished Teaching Award, visit www.calpoly.edu/acadsen/dta.html.

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