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. Three faculty members received this tribute in 2012 for Excellence in Teaching (Full Time).

Susan GaussSusan GaussHistory

Susan Gauss is a role model for students and colleagues in History and Latin American and Caribbean Studies.

Teachers of History have a challenge: the entire subject seems removed from students’ lives—too old, too foreign, too alien—to be of much interest. Professor Gauss has figured out how to overcome this alienation. She links today’s students to the past: connecting students with one another, with the rest of the world, and with other disciplines. Writing and debates are a key part of her classes, ensuring that students practice thinking critically about history, and transform the facts of history into historical analysis by examining them collaboratively. She uses her own work as a model of how this is done, bringing her research into the classroom for discussion and debate and showing students the kinds of interdisciplinary and analytical thinking that she requires of them. She is also widely known outside the classroom as a caring mentor, advisor and guide for first generation college students.

Students say…

  • “she is amazing and captivating”,
  • “a phenomenal instructor”,
  • “the best aspect of this course was the professor…She dealt with historical events in a broad cross-cultural and analytical way.  It was a class of not just facts but examining cause and effect relationships in history.”
  • “Dr. Gauss’ class was an intellectually transformative experience for me, pushing me to ask new questions and encouraging me to look beyond the borders of the United States in order to better understand such foundational concepts as class, race, gender and ideology.” 

Susan has also served on and led many committees in two departments including Graduate Studies, Assessment, and Undergraduate Studies.  She has been the Faculty Advisor of Phi Alpha Theta; a member of the Fulbright Review Committee for the University, Honors College Lecturer, and an active member of the Engaging Departments Initiative to streamline and revise the History Curriculum.

Excellence in Teaching (Full Time)

Glenn Deane Susan Gauss Martin Hildebrand
Glenn Deane
Susan Gauss
Martin Hildebrand
Mathematics and Statistics

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