Non-Profit Internet Source for News, Events, History, & Culture of Northern Frederick & Carroll County Md./Southern Adams County Pa.


Two Mount Professors Nominated for U.S. Professor of the Year Award

(11/8) Rev. James Donohue, associate professor of theology and chair of the theology department, and Karl Einolf, Ph.D., associate professor of business, accounting and economics and Director of the Honors Program, have both been nominated by Mount St. Mary’s University for the 2005 U.S. Professors of the Year Awards. The national award recognizes extraordinary dedication to undergraduate teaching at higher education institutions in the United States. The Council for Advancement and Support of Education began giving the awards in 1981 to raise awareness of the importance of undergraduate instructors. Colleges and universities may nominate up to three professors; four are then chosen nationally for the award.

This year, 300 faculty in the U.S. met the criteria for nomination, according to Christopher Blake, vice president for academic affairs at the Mount. "We take collective pride in Donohue’s and Einolf’s achievements in being nominated and we extend heartfelt congratulations to them," says Blake. They were presented with certificates of nomination from the Carnegie Foundation at a Mount faculty meeting in October. The national award winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. in mid-November. The winners are selected by a Grand Jury comprised of a former Professor of the Year, a student, an education association, and campus representatives.

The national winners receive $5,000, are featured in the "Chronicle of Higher Education," and meet with their elected officials on Capitol Hill. There are also state winners who receive an award certificate and an invitation to the awards luncheon.

To be nominated, professors must display an extraordinary dedication to undergraduate teaching, a scholarly approach to teaching and learning, contributions to undergraduate education in the institution, community and profession; and support from colleagues and current and former undergraduate students.

Rev. James Donahue was nominated by a fellow professor of theology, David McCarthy, Ph.D., and has his Ph.D. in systematic theology. Donahue publishes frequently on the rites of the sick, dying and death. He helped to write the $2 million grant that the Mount received from the Lilly Foundation for vocational exploration and has aided in the search for two new faculty members in the theology department as well as the search for the new university chaplain. Re. Donohue also assists in pastoral and sacramental ministry, such as the celebration of daily Mass., while still finding time to coach the Mount hockey team. Awards he has received include the Student Life Division’s "Faculty Award of Excellence" in 2003 and the Richard’s Award for Teaching Excellence in 2000, an annual award given to a Mount professor for creative course development, the ability to inspire and challenge students, concern for students’ intellectual, moral, and religious development, and the ability to explicate difficult ideas, texts, and concepts.

Karl Einolf, nominated by Karl Davidson, Ph.D., the chair of the department of business, accounting and economics, has his Ph.D. in economics. Einolf has published articles in numerous publications, including the "Economics of Sports" and "Research and Technology Management." He has served as the Vice President of Programs for the academic year 2003-2004 at the Chesapeake Association of Economic Educator, as a referee for various journals, a member of the Editorial Review Board for "Marginal Economics" and "The Economics of Sports," chair of the Data Envelopment Analysis Seminar Session and as a visiting research scientist at Lehigh University. Einolf is a member of the American Economic Association, the Chesapeake Association of Economic Educators, and the Institute for Operations Research and the Management of Sciences. He received the Richards Award in 2003. Other academic awards include the Warren-York Fellowship, which is awarded to a Ph.D. candidate whose dissertation work is promising and The Edward J. Stegman Memorial Award, which is given to Johns Hopkins University graduates who have excelled in the study of administrative science.

As part of the nomination process, Donahue and Einolf had to submit their curriculum vitae, a personal statement of their key contributions to the institution and six letters of recommendation, two which were from students. A letter of recommendation from one of Donahue’s students reads, "Most professors’ understanding of teaching is very narrow. They understand teaching in an academic sense only, limiting the role of teaching to intellectual growth alone. Father Jim understands teaching in relationship to the whole person. His view of teaching has the purpose of complete human fulfillment, having at its end truth and goodness." The Mount’s former provost talks about the popularity of Donahue’s classes: "Students preferred him I think because he was so engaging and because he made both the theological tradition which they were studying and the faith behind it so real to them."

A colleague of Einolf’s related that the professor has "a winning personality, which attracts students to his courses in a pied-piper-like fashion." Although he teaches difficult subjects, Einolf makes them understandable to students. Another colleague testifies that she has heard students make comments such as, "I always hated economics and business, but Dr. Einolf helped me to see how this works, it makes sense now, do you think I could fit more econ courses in next semester?"

Regardless of whether or not the Mount nominees take home the national award, it’s obvious that that they are already considered winners by the university community.

Read other stories on Mt. St. Mary