Emerson’s Gold Key Honor Society, which recognizes high standards of academic achievement, held its annual event April 20 in the Semel Theater. Juniors in the top 5 percent of their class and graduating seniors in the top 10 percent of their class were inducted into the Society.
“The students we honor here today have excelled in their academic work,” said President Jacqueline Liebergott in her opening remarks. “Earning high grades in and of itself is wonderful, but these students work more than twenty hours a week and are among the most active students on our campus. In the main, this group of students has participated in every aspect of campus life.”
The recipient of last year’s Helaine and Stanley Miller Award for Outstanding Teaching, Assistant Professor Wyatt Oswald, an ecologist, delivered the keynote speech.
Full- and part-time faculty members who have established high standards for teaching also received awards from the Society. Faculty members are selected based on their work with students and for consistently receiving high teacher/course evaluation ratings, said Jill Davidson of the Office of Academic Affairs.
Assistant Professor of Journalism Mark Leccese received this year’s Helaine and Stanley Miller Award for Outstanding Teaching. Made possible through the generosity of Helaine Miller ’55, Vice President for Academic Affairs Linda Moore recognized Miller for her willingness to give back to the College. Upon receiving the award, Leccese, a longtime newspaper reporter and editor, said, “There is one thing without which you cannot be an effective teacher, let alone an outstanding teacher—and that’s great students to teach.”
Ben Papandrea received the Alan L. Stanzler Award for Excellence in Teaching, which is given to a part-time instructor. Papandrea, a meteorologist, teaches classes on global climate change. “I consider it a privilege to teach at Emerson,” said Papandrea. “I am shocked by what the amazing and talented students bring to my classroom.”
As each student was inducted into the Society, they received certificates and the seniors received a special sash to be worn at commencement. This year, to honor President Liebergott, 18 inductees presented a yellow rose to her in honor of her 18 years as president, as well as for the 18 units that report to Academic Affairs. “The roses also represented the foresight and care that Liebergott has given to the education of each student and countless others,” said Moore.