- April 12, 2012
- 1:00 pm
- Jessica Reynolds
Among America’s best
Five Loyola University Chicago professors have been named among the best in country. John Janiga, BBA, MBA, JD, LLM in Taxation, CPA, professor of accounting; Connie Fletcher, PhD, associate professor of journalism; Brian Lavelle, PhD, professor of classical studies; Jacqueline Scott, associate professor of philosophy; and Kathleen Adams, PhD, professor of anthropology; are the only professors from Illinois included in The Princeton Review’s latest book titled, The Best 300 Professors.
To select the nation’s top teachers, The Princeton Review partnered with RateMyProfessors.com, a popular site where students write professor reviews. Originally referencing surveys from hundreds of thousands of students, those involved in the selection process narrowed the list down to 1,000 educators. From there, further input was collected from school administrators and students and from surveys given to and interviews with the professors under consideration. The editors of The Princeton Review boiled down the qualified candidates to the 300 profiled in the book, which was published on April 3, 2012.
Only 122 universities are represented in the book, and the closet one to Loyola is University of Wisconsin-Madison. Other Jesuit schools are distinguished, including Georgetown, Loyola New Orleans, and Loyola Marymount.
The five professors selected are honored to be recognized for their work, but they say high standards of teaching are the norm at Loyola.
Lavelle believes the fact that Loyola is the only Illinois school featured is striking and shows “outstanding teaching as a paramount aim of Loyola’s instructors.” He adds, “I am blessed by having such great colleagues, everyone of whom I know is no less dedicated to their profession.”
In the humblest of fashions, Lavelle predicts his “three primary ingredients” for good teaching led to the recognition: communication, consistent standards, and caring. He believes the role of teachers is to level with students and educate the individual, while always remembering that “teaching is really a sacred trust.”
Fletcher insists the attitude of the University is centered on good teaching, which is evident in and outside of the classroom. She calls Loyola a “door-opening culture,” where compassion is fostered between students and faculty.
“The students here are enthusiastic and giving. It makes you want to give back to them,” Fletcher adds.
Fletcher’s teaching philosophy is “to allow students to learn from their mistakes and improve,” so she encourages rewrites and do-overs until errors are corrected and the learning goal is perfected, which keeps students continuing through course material with high morale. “The old model of grading students on a particular paper, pointing out what they did wrong, and then moving on, is a punishing one that can leave students resentful and dispirited,” she adds.
Adams says students have always said they admire her passion and enthusiasm for anthropology. “I put a lot of energy into mentoring students, since I credit my own pursuit of a career in anthropology to the inspiring mentoring I received from one of my own undergraduate professors,” she says. Her goals include getting students to think critically and teach them to teach themselves.
Since being announced in the book, Adams has received numerous congratulatory posts on her Facebook page from former students who praise her efforts and thank her for the impact she’s made on their lives.
Inside Loyola congratulates all the professors mentioned in The Princeton Review’s best professors project.