Nominations for Golden Apple award to start today

Daily Staff Reporter
Published November 1, 2001

Starting today, a professor who has made an exceptional difference in the lives of the University students may be nominated for a Golden Apple Award.

Students Honoring Outstanding University Teaching awards the Golden Apple to the nominee who consistently teaches "each lecture as if it were their last" and inspires and engages students in their pursuit for knowledge.

"The Golden Apple Award was the most meaningful," said economics Prof. Jim Adams, the recipient of the 1998 award, "because this is one award conferred directly by students."

"To be honored for teaching is the most wonderful thing ever," added chemistry Prof. Kathleen Nolta, the recipient of the award in 2000.

The award was inspired by Rabbi Eliezer ben Hurkanos, who taught 1,900 years ago and challenged his students to live everyday as if it were their last.

The professor who wins the award this year will deliver his or her "ideal last lecture" at the award ceremony, which will be held on Jan. 22, 2002 in the Michigan League Mendelssohn Theatre. The lecture is open to all University students.

The Golden Apple Award"s unique feature of requiring the recipient to give his or hers "last ideal speech" or "the drop dead lecture" as Adams calls it is not only an opportunity for students to hear a personal speech from the recipients, but a chance for the recipients to think back about their own teachers who had influences on them, Adams said.

"It should not be called "the last lecture,"" said Nolta. "It makes it very scary."

Once all the nominations have been reviewed and the winner for this year"s award decided, SHOUT "will surprise the faculty by coming to the class and informing that he or she is the winner," said Shani Lasin, assistant director of Hillel, the sponsoring organization of SHOUT. The winner will be announced in early December.

Last year, about 550 students participated in the nomination process, said Brian Netter, an Engineering junior and chairman of SHOUT. "We"re hoping this year that we can get over a thousand students to nominate deserving faculty members," added Netter.

"To be indifferent is one thing that is unforgivable and unacceptable. If students expect to have any control over the teaching they receive, they can"t afford to be indifferent about an opportunity like the Golden Apple Award," Nolta said.

To submit nominations , students can go online at umshout, simply write the name and the department of the professor whom they are nominating, and briefly explain why the professor is worthy of the award. The deadline for the nominations is Nov. 22.