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Transformation Through Teaching

Monday, Nov. 16, 6 p.m. – President’s House

Welcome. I’m so glad you could join me tonight as we honor faculty who transformed the academic lives of their students, and we recognize those students who nominated them for this special award.

The Spiritual Life Project’s “Transformation Through Teaching” is such a wonderful program and is so important.

After all, at Florida State University we don’t just focus on the intellectual development of our students, we recognize the need for the development of the whole person.

The faculty here tonight are not only teachers and researchers, they serve as mentors, role models and cheerleaders.

They truly care about their students. They offer advice and encouragement, and they push their students to reach higher.

One student here tonight said this about her professor: “She has been an encourager when I hit a brick wall and was forced to start over. She kept me focused when I wanted to get sidetracked. My work as a researcher has improved exponentially because of her.”

Another had this to say about her professor: “She helped me to realize that a challenging situation is simply an opportunity for growth.”

And one student said simply, “She sees potential in me that I never believed I possessed.”

It’s clear that these professors have made a difference in the academic lives of their students. More than that, though, the impact of these professors will last a lifetime.

Research tells us that students who had professors or mentors who made them excited about learning, cared about them and encouraged them to pursue their dreams are happier after college. They tend to be more engaged employees and report greater well-being.

That is truly transformational.

To the faculty honored here tonight — congratulations. You change lives every day and make the world a better place.

And to the students here, thank you for taking the time to nominate the professors who made a difference in your life.