Purpose of the Award
The Presidential Award for Exemplary Teaching is testimony to the fact that the heart of a Christian liberal arts college is the teaching by its faculty, who embody the goals of forming the Christian mind and shaping students’ lives. This award recognizes exemplary teachers and advances outstanding teaching at Calvin College.
Every tenured Calvin College teacher is eligible for this award. Previous recipients may be nominated again for this award after four years.
Award recipients not only have exceptional teaching skills; they also consistently influence the lives and careers of Calvin College students in lifelong Christian ways. Award recipients will be selected based on the following criteria:
- Evidence of a long-term commitment to effective undergraduate teaching.
- Demonstrated exceptional teaching skills which are evidenced in the testimony and lives of both current and former students.
- Diverse interests and abilities.
- Recognition as a competent scholar.
- Service to the college, the church, the profession, or the community.
- Above all, service to students as counselor, mentor, and role model, expressing interest in and making lasting impacts on students’ Christian faith, thought, and character.
Each fall semester, the academic deans will solicit nominations from both individuals and departments. Nominating letters may be brief, consisting of the nominee’s name and a short paragraph summarizing why the nominee should be considered for the award. Each dean will consider the nomination letters as well as materials from the nominees’ teaching evaluation files and faculty activities reports to select a single nominee from within that dean’s division. The dean will then ask for dossiers consisting of no more than nine letters of recommendation, up to three each from colleagues, current students, and college alumni. Letters of recommendation may be pulled from previous files or may be generated specifically for the nomination dossier and should clearly demonstrate the ways in which the nominee meets the selection criteria. The dossiers are to be assembled either by the nominee’s department chair or by someone appointed by the dean. The deans will present the selected nominees and their dossiers to the president and the Professional Status Committee. Based on the nominations presented and the advice offered by the Professional Status Committee, the president will select the award winner by early in the spring semester.