Professor Patrick Nold Receives Dean's Award for Outstanding Achievement in Teaching

The 2012 Dean’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Teaching was presented to Professor Patrick Nold, Department of History, at the meeting of the full College faculty on December 5, 2012.

Patrick Nold earned his Doctor of Philosophy in Modern History at Oxford University.  His current research interests deal with the intellectual history of medieval Europe during the 13th and 14th centuries, and especially those related to the papacy (e.g., Pope John XXII: 1244-1334).  He has made ~10 presentations at professional conferences since arriving at UAlbany.  He is the author of two books:  Marriage Advice for a Pope: John XXII and the Power to Dissolve and Pope John XXII and his Franciscan Cardinal, and has published 6 peer-reviewed articles bearing on Pope John XXII.  (1244-1334)

During his six years at UAlbany time, he has taught many lecture-courses including:

HIS 130  History of European Civilization I
HIS 235  Early and Medieval Christianity
HIS 336  The Early Middle Ages
HIS 337  The Later Middle Ages
HIS 346  History of England, I  (Blackboard asynchronous on-line course in summer 2011-2012)
HIS 602  The Medieval Inquisition
HIS 611  The Crusades
HIS 612  Introduction to Medieval History
HIS 642  Love in a Catholic Climate

Professor Nold has a reputation for giving challenging exams and not having inflated grade-distributions.  With those characteristics, he has regularly received SIRF evaluations >4.5 (on the 5 point scale), consistently enthusiastic comments from students:

“Professor is great”
“… should be the example for all History professors”
“Lectures were wonderful”
“one of the best courses taken in my University career”
“Professor Nold should teach more courses”

Professor Nold remembers taking large lecture courses when he was a student and found them to leave much to be desired.  Consequently, with that experience in mind, he imagines himself being a student now in his class and uses different methods to stimulate the students’ interest and intellectual engagement.

Professor Richard Hamm, Chair of the History Department, included this student comment in Professor Nold’s nomination for the award:“Professor Nold is skilled in teaching.  The material was presented in a manner that allowed it to be easily understood, and the test was constructed in a manner that was low stress with well-rounded questions on the subject.  Grades were not just representative of your test-taking skills but were instead a representation of your mastery of course content.  The instructor’s hands-on approach was a valuable asset.”
Professor Nold has been the History Department’s representative on the University Senate, Director of Graduate Studies, Long Range Planning Committee.  At the College-level, he has served on the CAS Faculty Council’s Faculty Development Committee.

The Dean’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Teaching recognizes faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences for their varied contributions to teaching in the widest sense, including excellence in instruction, innovative approaches (in the classroom or on-line), outstanding work with student performances and other creative endeavors, and promoting student involvement in the community through excellent internships.  CAS faculty are eligible for nomination after at least 3 years of full-time teaching at the University.  The reviewers in the Faculty Council, specifically individuals on the Faculty Development Committee and some past recipients of this award, reviewed all files for exceptional contributions and sustained excellence.