Excellence in Teaching (Part Time)
Each year, the University at Albany honors special members of its community with Excellence Awards denoting exceptional contributions to the life of the campus. One faculty member received this tribute in 2010 for Excellence in Teaching (Part Time).
Rocco Ferraro, Geography and Planning
Mr. Rocco Ferraro has been Executive Director of the Capital District Regional Planning Commission for the last seven years, and a practicing planner for many years before that. For 28 consecutive semesters, he has taught Introductory Urban Planning, the core course requirement for the Urban Studies and Planning major offered by the Department of Geography and Planning. It has been calculated that Mr. Ferraro has offered this course to approximately 2750 students! Significantly, the nomination dossier includes letters from many former students describing how they were inspired by Mr. Ferraro and his teaching, how he changed their lives, how much they learned from him, how he influenced later educational and career choices, and how impressed they were with his dedication to planning as both an academic subject and as a profession. Further evidence of this admiration is reflected in Mr. Ferraro's student course evaluations, which regularly exceed the average for the department's other lower division courses, particularly for preparation, receptivity to student's ideas, and availability outside the classroom. In addition to his courses, Mr. Ferraro supervises undergraduate and graduate interns placed at the Planning Commission, an enormously stimulating and useful experience. His network of regional contacts has also been helpful in placing students seeking internship experiences in other agencies. We owe a great debt of gratitude to Rocco Ferraro for his many years of excellent teaching, and more generally for bringing experiences from his years of exemplary professional service into the classroom. In that vein, we are pleased today to present the 2010 President's Excellence Award for Teaching by a Part-time Faculty Member to Mr. Rocco Ferraro.