Innovation & Research

2014 Professor of the Year


Dr. Ben Aronson was named Mortar Board Professor of the Year during the annual wine and cheese reception Jan. 28, 2014.

“It is unequivocal that Redlands boasts some of the most distinguished instructors whose work, both in and out of the classroom, are without equal,” Erik Dain, president of the WEBS (Wisdom, Excellence, Belief and Service) Chapter of Mortar Board, said. “Their distinct contributions enrich the lives of students that pass through their classes. Professors remain an integral part of the University as their nuanced backgrounds, talents and ingenuity shape the overall learning experience.”

Aronson is a professor of biology who received his B.A. in biology from Williams College in 1983 and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Purdue University in 1990. He also received the Outstanding Teaching Award at the University of Redlands in 2002.

“It is hard for me to say how the award will influence future work; I think for the most part that it will do so by providing some validation for my current teaching approaches and the ways in which I interact with, and try to support, student success,” he said. “And receiving this kind of feedback from students is really the highest honor; they are and should be the best judge of what I do as a teacher.”

The other professors nominated for the award include Dr. Nicholle Andrews, Dr. Scott Randolph, Dr. Nicholas Shunda and Dr. Greg Thorson.

“I have been at the University long enough to know the incredible talents that currently exist among the faculty as well as among those that have retired in the last 15 years,” Aronson said. “In this sense the recognition is quite humbling. I look at the list of previous faculty who have been awarded the same recognition by Mortar Board, as well as many others who have not yet been so recognized, and I am quite convinced I would rather be a student in their classroom rather than mine.”

The WEBS Chapter of Mortar Board has been presenting the Professor of the Year award since 1959 as a way to honor professors who go above and beyond to teach and contribute to the University of Redlands. Mortar Board facilitates the voting process, with the nominations student-driven. The Professor of the Year is then further feted during the President’s High Table Dinner, taking place this year at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 18 in Casa Loma.

Posted: Jan. 31, 2014

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