University at Albany

Excellence in Teaching (Full 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. Two faculty members received this tribute in 2011 for Excellence in Teaching (Full Time).

Joanne KaufmanJoanne KaufmanSociology

Professor Kaufman’s reputation as an excellent teacher is remarkable given the Department of Sociology’s overall reputation for excellence in teaching and advising. She is a dedicated and effective teacher at both the undergraduate and the graduate levels, taking her role seriously and putting time and energy into teaching and mentoring.

Professor Kaufman has taught many different courses including large introductory classes, writing intensive classes, a senior seminar; and graduate research classes. In all of these settings, she creates a learning environment where students are encouraged to participate and raise critical issues. Both student and peer evaluation of her teaching show that her methods are successful in stimulating students’ interest and helping them learn. In the past three years, her evaluations have regularly been above the departmental average for both undergraduate and graduate courses. The scores are exceptionally high on the items “challenged you intellectually” and “held you to high standards”. Open-ended comments include such praise as “by far THE BEST sociology professor,” “I didn’t want to miss class because the class environment was different than other classes,” “This is an awesome class,” and “Joanne Kaufman is literally the best professor I’ve ever had.” One student stated that Professor Kaufman was the reason that she decided to make sociology her minor. Graduate students stress her dedication and generosity in helping them become successful researchers, and praise the guidance she provides as they prepare papers for conference presentations and submissions to academic journals. Her TAs talk about how much they learn about encouraging students to participate, and facilitating dynamic classroom discussions.

As one of her colleagues remarks: “Professor Kaufman is central to both the undergraduate and graduate programs. Her commitment to teaching embodies all that is best in the teacher/scholar model that is so highly valued at the University at Albany.”

Excellence in Teaching (Full Time)

Joanne Kaufman Christine Wagner
Joanne Kaufman
Christine Wagner

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