Arthur A. Raney received Florida State University’s 2017 Distinguished Teacher Award during the annual Faculty Awards Dinner on April 25.
The Distinguished Teacher Award, the university’s most prestigious honor for teaching, includes a $7,500 stipend funded by FSU.
Raney, the James E. Kirk Professor of Communication in the School of Communication, aims to instill in his students a love of learning for its own sake.
“I count it a sincere privilege to play a role in the development of our students,” Raney said. “One of my goals is to always model intellectual curiosity, honesty and humility for our students as a way to encourage their own pursuit of learning as an end unto itself.”
Raney said he tries to create a classroom environment where students can openly engage with and discuss the material, where they must challenge their own assumptions about and grapple with the complexities of the world around them and where they are empowered to become critical consumers and creators of media and other communication messages.
Gary Heald, director of the School of Communication, commended Raney for his dedication and selflessness, both as a teacher and a colleague.
“Dr. Raney is the type of professor that we all want to have as our teacher and the type of scholar and role model that we all want to have as our colleague,” Heald said. “He has an insightful understanding of the subject areas that he teaches, and he generously spends time sharing his expertise with students and colleagues who have questions.”
Raney joined FSU’s faculty in 1999 as an assistant professor in the School of Communication. He was promoted to full professor in 2011 and was named the James E. Kirk Professor of Communication in 2012.
During his tenure at FSU, Raney has been recognized with a number of awards and superlatives. He received a University Teaching Award in 2006, he was a Transformation Through Teaching honoree in 2011, and in 2015, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching nominated him for U.S. Professor of the Year. He has published extensively on the topics of media consumption and communication theory.
In order to receive the award, candidates must have received a University Teaching Award at least five years prior to being nominated. Successful nominees must demonstrate sustained excellence in teaching for the years since the receipt of their first award.
Additional outstanding FSU faculty members were recognized in other categories during the Faculty Awards Dinner.
RALPH STAIR PRIZE FOR INNOVATION IN EDUCATION: This biennially awarded prize honors an individual or collaborative team at FSU who has developed innovative approaches that demonstrate the potential of having great impact nationally and internationally. The prize was awarded to Rabieh Razzouk (Learning Systems Institute).
DISTINGUISHED RESEARCH PROFESSOR AWARD: This award acknowledges outstanding research or creative activity at the professor level with a $10,000 stipend and the distinction of using the title “Distinguished Research Professor” while at Florida State University. The award was presented to John Corrigan (Religion), Laura Reina (Physics) and Bruce Thyer (Social Work).
DEVELOPING SCHOLAR AWARD: This award recognizes mid-career associate professor level faculty with a one-time allowance of $10,000 to support their research programs. The award was presented to Jonathan Dennis (Biological Science), Fengfeng Ke (Educational Psychology & Learning Systems), Alan Lemmon (Scientific Computing), Emily Lemmon (Biological Science) and Takemichi Okui (Physics).
GRADUATE FACULTY MENTOR AWARD: This award celebrates faculty members who have been outstanding in their service to graduate students. The award was presented to Richard Bertram (Mathematics), Eric Chicken (Statistics), Kathy Guthrie (Center for Leadership and Social Change), Jill Pable (Interior Architecture and Design) and Jorge Piekarewicz (Physics).
HONORS THESIS MENTOR AWARD: This award recognizes faculty members who have shown exceptional care and attention in their service to students in the Honors Program. This award was presented to Karl Anders Ericsson (Psychology) and Lorilee Medders (Risk Management/Insurance, Real Estate and Legal Studies).
UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH MENTOR AWARD: This award acknowledges substantive and long-term faculty involvement in undergraduate research. Awardees receive a $2,000 stipend funded by the FSU Student Foundation. This prize was awarded to Laura Weingarden (Art History).
UNDERGRADUATE ADVISEMENT AWARD: This award is reserved for faculty and staff who have dedicated their time to ensuring that students are provided with the best possible guidance related to course selection and career choices. This year’s recipients were Shellie Camp (Arts and Sciences) and Jessica Ridgway Clayton (Retail, Merchandise and Product Development).
UNDERGRADUATE TEACHING AWARD: This award recognizes faculty members who have demonstrated an excellence in undergraduate teaching. Nominations for this award are submitted by students and alumni, and each recipient receives a $2,000 award. This year’s class of outstanding professors include Whitney Bendeck (International Affairs), Ronald Doel (History), Gregory Erickson (Biological Science), Debra Fadool (Biological Science), Alisha Gaines (English), Lucas Hopkins (Marketing), Mark Kearly (Chemistry and Biochemistry), Leonard LaPointe (Communication Science and Disorders), Jason Maurer (Motion Picture Arts), Kenneth “Rick” McCullough (Dance), Katherine Mooney (History), Stephen Paris (Mathematics), Spencer Pierce (Accounting), Ebrahim Randeree (Information), Kunihiko Taira (Mechanical Engineering) and Melina Vastola (Computer Science).
GRADUATE TEACHING AWARD: This award recognizes faculty for superlative graduate teaching. Nominations are submitted by students and alumni, and each recipient is awarded a $2,000 stipend. This year’s awardees include Anthony Ciarlariello (Motion Picture Arts), Melissa Hanson (Law), David Kirby (English), David Markell (Law), Lenore McWey (Family and Child Sciences), Linda Schrader (Educational Leadership and Policy Studies), Mark Spottswood (Law) and Kathleen Yancey (English).