University at Albany

Excellence in Teaching (Teaching Assistant)

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 2012 for Excellence in Teaching (Teaching Assistant).

Allen WongAllen Wong, Sociology

Mr. Allen Wong’s teaching impresses colleagues and students alike.  To set the context: he was raised in Kingston, Jamaica, where he dealt with an ever-present threat of violence. Largely through self-education, he prepared himself to attend first Macalester College in St. Paul Minnesota, and now the University at Albany.  Because of this arduous journey to his own education, he feels a sense of duty to give all of his students, regardless of learning style or background, the best education they can receive.

Mr. Wong is extraordinarily versatile: he has taught Introduction to Sociology, Research Methods, Criminology, Juvenile Delinquency and Terrorism. Because of his expertise, he is one of very few graduate students who supervise independent studies.  He has lectured in the School of Criminal Justice, and, due to his own dedication to student success, presented on teaching students with disabilities. 

Mr. Wong challenges his students, focusing on critical thinking by marrying difficult material with engaging methods in the classroom.  One student writes: “instead of taking the readings as infallible truth, he made us think about whether or not the text had the right ideas and how they fit into Sociology.” He adeptly brings personal experiences, research and current events into the classroom.  His charming and responsive manner puts students at ease as he works to ensure that each of them has a fair chance at excelling in his classes.  Even in classes of over 120 students, he quietly and respectfully involves all of his students, expecting them to contribute actively.

He is also very accessible: encouraging students to talk with him outside of class, wherever their paths cross. And they respond, approaching him in dining halls, and even grocery stores to discuss course material.

Mr. Wong’s dedication to reaching students of diverse backgrounds makes him a deserving recipient of this excellence award.

Excellence in Teaching (Teaching Assistant)

Nabila El Guennouni Allen Wong
Nabila El Guennouni
Languages, Literatures & Cultures
Allen Wong

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