Penn State York seeks nominations for teaching excellence award

James H. Burness Award for Excellence in Teaching recognizes outstanding faculty
Nittany lion Characher with male and female faculty members

Noel Sloboda, associate professor of English at Penn State York, was the recipient of the 2022-23 James H. Burness Award for Excellence in Teaching. Sloboda, center, is pictured with the Nittany Lion and Joan Smeltzer, associate teaching professor of mathematics and a 2021-22 winner. Nominations for faculty teaching in fall 2023 are now being accepted.

Credit: Barbara Dennis

YORK, Pa. — Nominations are being accepted for the 2023-24 James H. Burness Award for Excellence in Teaching. The award is given annually to recognize any aspect of excellent instruction — lectures, demonstrations, classroom activities, handling of discussions, individual attention, laboratory instruction, etc. — that contributes to the academic quality of Penn State York.

The purpose of the award is to recognize excellence in instruction, not to identify the most popular faculty member. The teaching award is named in memory of the late James H. Burness, in recognition of his outstanding teaching and service to the campus. Burness died in December 1999.

All faculty are eligible to be nominated except for recipients of the award in the past four years: Sonia Molloy and Lou Paioletti (2020), Joe Royer and Megan Lorenz (2021), and Joan Smeltzer and Audra Weaver (2022), and Noel Sloboda and Sara Shaw (2023). Nominations submitted during the fall 2023 semester will be combined with nominations submitted during spring 2024.

Two awards are given: one to a full-time faculty member and one to a part-time faculty member. The teaching award committee will determine if the faculty member nominated is eligible for the full-time or part-time award and will divide the nominations accordingly.

The nomination form is for faculty who are teaching in fall 2023. Nominations should be as specific as possible with comments about nominees. 

Fall nominations should be submitted online by 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 8.