Thanks to a new LSU Student Government bill, University students will now have a chance to give their favorite professors the recognition they feel they deserve.
The SG Award for Outstanding Professor is open for all University students to nominate the professors they feel demonstrate exceptional teaching strategies, guidance and mentorship in the classroom.
The resolution to create the award passed in SG senate last spring. Speaker of the student senate James Mickler was instrumental in the creation of this resolution.
“The whole idea, and really what this award encompasses, is the ability to show our appreciation to the work teachers put in day in and day out to better this University and make it an experience perfect for each student,” Mickler said.
Chair of the student senate academic affairs committee Erica Borne was also present for the senate process, and has continued to help bring the award to fruition this year.
“I’m really excited about it,” Borne said. “This is probably my favorite piece of legislation that has gone through senate.”
Typically, it takes about a week to pass a resolution in the student senate, but this particular resolution took several weeks, Borne said.
All nominations can be submitted online until Feb. 16. During March, a committee consisting of Borne, Mickler, SG president Jason Badeaux, SG vice president Leah Sanders, SG chief justice Andrew Chenevert and past winners of faculty awards will choose one winner. The winner is then up for approval by the LSU Office of Academic Affairs.
“Overall, [I’m] very excited to see where this goes, and I know there are a lot of LSU students out there that want an avenue to show their professors how much they really care about them,” Mickler said.
Members of SG will present the honor at the 2018 Distinguished Faculty Awards in May. Several University students were pleased with the new award, calling for more attention to the professors that deserve it.
“I do believe that teachers are underappreciated,” said animal science sophomore Ethan Kraemer. “They put in a lot of work, and a lot of students will take that for granted just because they might not get the best grade that they want. I think that getting the students to be able to vote on it is great, because it doesn’t just give the students a voice, but also lets the teachers know that if they get nominated, [they’re] doing something right. And the teachers that don’t get nominated maybe strive to get better.”
Psychology senior Tracie Hardwick said she is excited about the opportunity to make a nomination herself.
“A lot of professors do work outside of the classroom and a lot of students don’t see that,” Hardwick said. “The only other voice we really have is on RateMyProfessors, which can be very inaccurate.”
Environmental engineering senior Harris Bienn agreed that allowing students to have a voice is important.
“I do think that excellence and communication in teaching should definitely be awarded and recognized,” Bienn said.