Saint Louis University

Excellence in Teaching and Mentoring Awards

The mission statement of the College of Arts & Sciences expresses dedication to excellence in educating students on the undergraduate and graduate levels. The College conceives of education as inculcating mastery of major disciplines while fostering broad liberal education, intellectual excellence, aesthetic appreciation, critical thinking, moral awareness, appreciation of diversity, and social commitment. In furtherance of its mission the College encourages excellence in its faculty in their roles as teachers and mentors.

Each year the College will make three undergraduate teaching awards, one each in the areas of the humanities, the sciences, and the social sciences, to outstanding teachers in the College. One undergraduate mentoring award will be given as well. In addition, there is one graduate teaching and one graduate mentoring award.  Finally, one adjunct teaching award will also be made.  Each award recipient will receive a college medallion and a grant of $1000 for professional expenses. The recipient may use the award for reimbursement of professional expenses (travel, books, professional membership fees, software, etc.) or for departmental purchases or activities.


1. ELIGIBILITY

All full-time regular faculty of the College of Arts & Sciences are eligible. Faculty must have Graduate Faculty status for the graduate-level awards.  A faculty member who receives an award is not eligible again until five years have elapsed, counting the year in which the award was made.


2. CRITERIA FOR SELECTION

Outstanding teaching and mentoring comes in many forms and it is impossible to list all of the characteristics that would be worthy of an award. The criteria outlined here are intended to be merely suggestive. Nominators should describe the outstanding characteristics and achievements of the nominee as appropriate. The final selection committee (described below) is not limited by the following lists in determining the finalists and recipients of the teaching and mentoring awards.

Excellence in Teaching Award

Excellent teaching has the following qualities:

· Instills intellectual curiosity and the desire to learn.

· Stimulates learning through inspiring lectures, the modeling of scholarship, the use of good teaching methodology, actively involving students in the learning process, a demonstration of personal interest in students, the setting of high standards, or enthusiastic or passionate interest in a subject.

· Rooted in current, competent scholarship that is integrated with sound pedagogy.

· Can be demonstrated through reference to the achievements of students.

· Includes encouraging such things as moral reflection and action, an integrated view of life, personal responsibility, leadership, religious consciousness, aesthetic sensibility, clear thinking, altruism, and good citizenship.

· Can be identified by the influence that it has on the way colleagues teach.

· Can have an effect beyond Saint Louis University by significant contributions made regionally or nationally in the teaching of the faculty member's field or broader areas.

Excellence in Mentoring Award

An outstanding mentor has the following qualities:

· Is available to students, willingly and cheerfully giving time to them.

· Makes students feel welcomed.

· Respects students and their concerns.

· Takes students seriously.

· Is skillful in encouraging problem-solving techniques by helping students to think through issues and come to decisions.

· Is zealous for the academic excellence and meaningful life experiences of his or her advisees.

· Communicates an excitement about learning and living.


3. SELECTION PROCESS

The selection process consists of three steps: nominations, submission of documentation by finalists, and selection of awardees by the selection committee.

A selection committee is formed in early fall; it is composed of the seven faculty member awardees from the previous year, three undergraduate students and one graduate student.  Students are nominated by the departmental Chairs and Graduate Education. The Dean will appoint an Associate Dean to serve as an ex-officio non-voting member of the selection committee. The awards  should be widely advertised prior to the nomination deadline of December 19 by flyers, in The University News, NEWSLINK, emails to students, or through other appropriate means.

Nominations

· Excellence in Teaching Award

Any undergraduate or graduate student fully enrolled in the College of Arts & Sciences or any faculty member with primary appointment in the College of Arts & Sciences may nominate candidates for a teaching award. The nomination, made in the form of a letter setting forth the reasons for the nomination, is to accompany the nomination form, and sent to the appropriate Associate Dean of Arts & Sciences. The accompanying letter should not exceed two pages.  For more information in obtaining the actual nomination forms, access http://www.slu.edu/x12648.xml.

· Excellence in Mentoring Award

Undergraduate or graduate students fully enrolled in the College of Arts & Sciences may nominate outstanding mentors who have enriched, encouraged and inspired the academic, personal and professional life of their mentorees. The nomination, made in the form of a letter setting forth the reasons for the nomination, along with the nomination form, is to be sent to the appropriate Associate Dean of Arts & Sciences. The letter should not exceed two pages.

Selection of Finalists

All nominees are notified that they are finalists for the Excellence Awards.

Documentation

The Chair or another faculty member appointed by the Chair assists the candidate in preparing documentation about the quality of the candidate's teaching or mentoring. Supporting materials should be submitted to the Office of the Dean by February 3.

Each finalist for an Excellence in Teaching Award should submit the following information:

A cover letter highlighting the candidate's teaching strengths written by the Department Chair
A letter from a colleague
A letter from two students
An abbreviated vita (one to two pages)
A statement of teaching philosophy (one page)
A list of courses taught and summaries of student evaluations from the previous spring or fall semesters

Each finalist for an Excellence in Mentoring Award should submit the following information:

A cover letter highlighting the candidate's mentoring strengths written by the Department Chair
A letter from a colleague
A letter from two students
An abbreviated vita (one to two pages)
A statement of mentoring philosophy (one page)
Summary of comments from evaluations relative to mentoring from the previous spring or fall semesters
Number of advisees

Selection of Award Recipients

The selection committee meets and recommends the award recipients, one undergraduate teaching award for each area of the humanities, social sciences, and sciences; one undergraduate mentoring award; an excellence in graduate teaching award; an excellence in graduate mentoring award, an excellence in adjunct teaching award; and a staff excellence award to the Dean by February 17.


4. AWARDS EVENT

A college awards event will be held the second Tuesday in April at which these awards, along with a staff excellence award, and other student honors will be presented. The faculty winners will each receive college medallions and notification of their $1000 grants for professional expenses.


5. TIMETABLE

· Identify three undergraduate student and one graduate student members of the selection committee by October 6.

· Advertise by November 26.

· Accept nominations until December 19.

· Finalists submit supporting materials by February 3.

· Award recipients are selected by February 17.



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revised: April 17, 2012

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