Earlier this week the website RateMyProfessors.com released its list of the 25 colleges and universities across the nation that have the best professors. Gustavus, which came in at number 16 on the list, was the only Minnesota school included, and joined schools such as Duke University, Stanford University, Cornell University, Rollins College, and Washington University in St. Louis on the list.
The rankings are based entirely on student input, so we asked several Gustavus students what they think about professors on campus and this is what they had to say:
Eric Dugdale is the best professor on campus because he is a paragon of intellectual humility and grace. He has worked very hard to master a variety of difficult disciplines, but rather than be content to rest on his laurels and relish his accomplishments, he daily descends enthusiastically to the level of his students, bringing all his forces to bear on their learning. Professor Dugdale is a man who knows the joys of learning and intellection, and he has made it his pursuit to share these joys with his students
-Karl Grant ’14
I would say that the best professor at Gustavus is Kathi Tunheim. Kathi is able to teach every class she offers in a way that is stimulating to her students and with such great energy that it makes them excited for class each day. She draws on her own experiences, which makes the content of the classroom come alive. Kathi is also a role model and a mentor inside and outside of the classroom with her ability to network and her high empathy skills. There is no one that I would rather ask advice from or grab a cup of coffee with than Kathi Tunheim.
-Michael Morimoto ’14
Professor Richard Leitch encompasses what it means to be a professor at Gustavus. As a professor in political science and of the First Term Seminar “The Politics of Homelessness”, Professor Leitch provides an opportunity to look outside our comfort zone and talk about what is going on in the world. The way that Professor Leitch teaches is unique from most other professors; not only does he teach about the materials, but does so in a way that incorporates the five Gustavus core values and provides an opportunity to draw from real world experiences. He cares for each of his students and it is evident through the effort that he makes to connect with each of them. Taking a class from Professor Leitch made me truly understand what it means to make my life count.
-Megan Gustafson ’16
I believe Betsy Byers is the best professor at Gustavus. Betsy is very optimistic and enthusiastic about teaching art. She does her best to reach out to each of her students and make them feel important. She is always willing to help and encourages her students to challenge themselves. If I had not taken her class I would have missed the opportunity to meet one of the most amazing professors on this campus.
-Amy Vang ’15
As a communication studies major, I believe that Phil Voight is one of Gustavus’ best assets. Not only does he have vast knowledge from his many global experiences, but he also has a way of captivating and engaging students through great class discussions. Phil’s light-hearted spirit makes being in class actually fun. He is a wonderful addition to the Gustavus faculty and to the campus as a whole.
-Chelsea Johnson ’14
Professor Peg O’Connor provides her students an opportunity to learn more about philosophical ethics and the world that we live in, and this is only a small portion of what she teaches. By giving her students real life examples and opportunities to learn and engage in the text, she has provided us with a true liberal arts education. Professor O’Connor has truly taught me about what I should expect of myself and how I should relate to and interact with others around me.
-Logan Boese ’16
It’s very hard to single out just one physics professor because I have yet to have a bad one in the 17 physics courses that I have taken. I would say that Steve Mellema is one of the best professors at Gustavus. As a graduate of Gustavus himself, he has a great understanding and respect for the small school physics experience and education. He comes to class with more excitement than all of the students combined. Whenever I ask him about anything, physics related or otherwise, he seems genuinely interested in my education and my life.
-Ed Kluender ’14
Sean Cobb is easily one of the most influential professors at Gustavus. I have witnessed the personal time and effort he puts towards making each students’ Gustavus experience the best it can possibly be. Sean is genuine and never pretentious; he stays connected to the students, doing everything in his power to support and prepare them before they head into the real world. His charismatic personality and passion for teaching shines in the classroom day in and day out. Taking a class with Sean before you graduate should be on every Gustavus student’s bucket list.
-Carolyn Draayer ’15
RateMyProfessors.com was founded in 1999 and is the largest online destination for professor ratings. The website allows students to rate professors in the categories of “easiness”, “helpfulness”, “clarity”, the rater’s “interest” in the class prior to taking it, and the degree of “textbook use” in the course.
Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin