The Residence Hall Association (RHA) honored eight Emory professors for their leadership and service in the classroom and in the local community at the 13th annual Crystal Apple Awards ceremony last week.
This year’s award recipients, chosen annually by a selection committee, included Christine Ristaino, senior lecturer in Italian studies; Karla Passalacqua, lecturer in biology; Allison Burdette, assistant professor in the practice of business law at the Goizueta Business School; Kate Woeber, clinical instructor of nursing at the Woodruff School of Nursing; Amy Webb Girard, assistant professor of global health at the Rollins School of Public Health; Jennifer Mathews, instructor of legal writing, research and advocacy at the School of Law; Clifford Gunthel, investigator at the Center for AIDS Research at the School of Medicine; and Edward Queen II, director of the D. Abbott Turner Program in Ethics and Servant Leadership and coordinator of undergraduate studies at the Center for Ethics. RHA members present the awards.
According to the Emory Residence Life and Housing (ResLife) website, students nominate professors for their accessibility to students, mastery of the subject matter, engaging presence in the classroom and service to the Emory community.
RHA President and B-school junior Jonathan Yenni wrote in an email to the Wheel that each year RHA asks students to nominate professors for one the Crystal Apple categories. The RHA Executive Council then reads through the hundreds of submitted nominations to select the winners.
“The awards ceremony is truly meaningful both to the students and the professors,” Yenni wrote. “A Crystal Apple award shows that professors had a positive impact not only on the Emory community but also ... on the students’ lives.”
According to a March 2 University press release, students nominated Ristaino for her passionate and caring attitude in the classroom. She received the Excellence in Undergraduate Seminar Education award, designed for a member of the Emory faculty who instructs or has instructed classes consisting of fewer than 20 students.
Passalacqua — whom one nominator said challenges her students to “think outside the box” — received the Excellence in Undergraduate Large Class Education award, which honors a professor who teaches classes consisting of at least 20 students. She wrote in an email to the Wheel that the award demonstrates that the Biology department’s efforts to make the introductory biology course a “cut above the norm” have been successful.
“I am so appreciative that I work at an institution with so many fine students who seek inspiration from their learning,” she wrote. “... In reality, the award belongs to the Biology department as a whole.”
This year’s Excellence in Undergraduate Business Education award, which recognizes an Emory faculty member who teaches or has taught undergraduate-level courses at Goizueta, went to Burdette for her “ability to transform mundane subjects into fascinating lectures,” according to the press release.
Woeber was nominated by students in her Advanced Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) course, in part because of her ability to teach a semester’s worth of material in three week. She received the Excellence in Undergraduate Nursing Education award for her teaching style.
“Her approachability and depth of knowledge fostered an ideal learning environment in a class that will serve as the base of the rest of my nursing education,” wrote one student who nominated Woeber for the award, according to the University press release.
The Excellence in Graduate School Education award went to Girard for her passion and enthusiasm for global health. According to the press release, several nominators wrote that they consider Girard not only a professor but also a mentor and friend.
Mathews, who garnered the Excellence in Professional School Education award, was recognized for her commitment to teaching and her sense of humor.
In addition, Gunthel received the William H. Fox Award for Emerging Excellence, which recognizes the accomplishments of junior faculty members, according to the ResLife website. The award honors faculty who have been teaching at Emory for 10 years or less.
Queen acquired the Laura Jones Hardman Award for Excellence in Service to the Emory Community. He wrote in an email to the Wheel that the award “demonstrates in a concrete way that the time and effort one has committed to one’s students actually does matter.”
“It is important because it comes from the students and that makes it particularly gratifying,” Queen wrote.
— Contact Jordan Friedman.