Teacher of the Year

The Pamplin Society of Fellows created the teacher of the year award in the same year that it was founded in 1994. The original members of the society used this award as a way to honor one faculty member of the College of Arts and Sciences that goes particularly above and beyond the requirements of their position to enrich student learning both inside and outside of the classroom. All members of the faculty are considered eligible for the award, regardless of rank, tenure, title, department, or years of service to the college.

This award is entirely driven in all aspects by undergraduate students. A call is issued in early March for students at the college to write nomination letters for faculty members that have played a dynamic role in students’ academic lives on Palatine Hill. These letters are then reviewed by a selection committee comprised entirely of students. Nominations are often received for over fifty faculty members at the college representing every department on campus. 

Out of all of the nomination letters the selection committee chooses five to seven finalists for the Teacher of the Year Award. After a second call for letters of support and additional committee deliberation, a finalist is chosen and announced at an awards reception in April.

When the award committee asks for nominations, they state that the ideal teacher of the year demonstrates passion for his or her field of study, preparedness and grace in the classroom, adaptability to new ideas and learning styles, and wisdom and compassion as a mentor. In addition to these qualities the selection committee takes not of the immense care and understanding that professors take in interacting with their students.

The winner of the 2023-24 Teacher of the Year is Associate Professor of Art History Dawn Odell. 


Previous Recipients of the Award: