University at Albany

Excellence in Teaching

Each year, the University at Albany honors special members of its community with Excellence Awards denoting exceptional contributions to the life of the campus. Four faculty members received this tribute in 1998 for Excellence in Teaching.

Katherine TrentKatherine TrentSociology

Katherine Trent, an associate professor in the Department of Sociology who joined the faculty in 1987, has been a superb teacher, a productive scholar, and an active contributor to her department, college, and the University. She has taught a wide range of undergraduate and graduate courses on demography, medical sociology, social problems, women's health, and migration and population.

Trent's teaching is distinguished by her major contributions to curriculum development and to working with students outside of the classroom. During her term as undergraduate chair in the department, she conducted an assessment of the undergraduate program that now serves as a model for future curriculum development. She also managed the department's Demography Certificate Program for graduate students.

Rigor, commitment of time, and dedication to students are hallmarks of her teaching. Her courses are challenging and comprehensive, calling for students to become actively involved in the learning process through class participation and carefully designed writing and research assignments. Trent stresses the underlying premises of research methodology and the importance of synthesis in the educational process. She regularly serves on a large number of master's and doctoral thesis committees — ten of each in December of 1997.

Trent also has served the academic community as a whole as a faculty mentor in the Students at Risk Program. She has also chaired the Evaluation Policy Committee of the Council on Educational Policy, and given her time to student orientation events, the Freshman Reading program and the Talented Students Admission Program.

As a researcher, she has made 30 presentations at conferences since 1980, and her research has received National Science Foundation funding. She requires from her students the same characteristics that she utilizes in her own scholarship and University service: hard work, a commitment to quality, development of life-long learning skills, and an open mind.

Excellence in Teaching

Lee S. Bickmore Helen Ghiradella Richard F. Hamm Katherine Trent
Lee S.


Richard F.

Katherine Trent

Students participate in more than 200 student clubs and honor societies, and enjoy a busy calendar of campus events.