Classics professor Nigel Nicholson
Nigel Nicholson,associate professor of classics and humanities since1995, has been honored by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as the 2004 Oregon Professor of the Year.
Since 1981, the U.S. Professors of the Year program has recognized outstanding professors for their dedication to teaching and their commitment to students. Nicholson's concern for his students extends beyond the classroom, a key criterion for the award. "I like doing research, but I like that to be kind of auxiliary to my teaching, to the students . . . . They are the point," he says.
"It's an honor to be nominated for such an award at a college like Reed," Nicholson says. "If I am a good teacher, it is because I have many wonderful colleagues to model my teaching on and wonderful students to make the classes exciting."
Dean of Faculty Peter Steinberger believes Nicholson to be especially deserving of the award. "Nigel is a masterful teacher and scholar, a superb conference leader, an outstanding thesis adviser, and an original and highly accomplished student of the ancient world," he says. "It is deeply gratifying that his special talent, so well known within the Reed community, has now been recognized by CASE."
Nicholson's teaching style holds Reedies enthralled. "Pretty much everyone showed up for his lectures at 9 a.m., which really doesn't happen very much," says one student. "His humor keeps you engaged and keeps your mind open," the student said.
The Professor of the Year award was created to celebrate excellent teachers in higher education, who are rarely as recognized as professors who garner large research grants. Each year, one professor from each state receives this distinction.