Rina Agarwala received the Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity’s Outstanding Faculty Member Award for the 2017-2018 academic year. Over 120 applications were received from chapters across the United States and Canada.
The award letter states:
You were nominated by our chapter because of your passion for inspiring your students, as well as your dedication to your own personal values.
All nominations were read by two independent judges who selected the winners based on the following criteria:
- What makes this professor a great teacher?
- How does he/she inspire students?
- How does this professor make students better?
- What makes this professor’s class an outstanding learning experience?
- What connections can be identified between this professor and Theta’s goals and mission?
We are so grateful for your contributions to the campus community, and could not be more proud that you are receiving this well-deserved honor. Below is an excerpt from the original nomination submission written by your students:
Professor Agarwala is a very unique professor and an engaging lecturer. She highly encourages debate, discussion, and questioning in her classes and wants to help everyone have their voice heard. She is always so open to questions and seeing drafts to help students fully engage with the material and understand what is being taught. Professor Agarwala is very accepting of misinterpretations of the material, always helping to explain things clearly and adequately. In moments of difficulty, she is supportive and happy to help. Her feedback on every piece of work is thorough and specific with detailed notes on how to improve, using targeted questions to push our work to higher standards. This professor stands out because she truly exemplifies what it means to be a leading woman. She has a huge range of experience, having worked on international development and gender issues in China, India, and New York. Her past experience helping women become leaders comes through in her teaching style as she continually relates the content to her experiences. Professor Agarwala goes above and beyond expectations of any faculty member in how she makes students enjoy even material that they find challenging. Most students love a class because they are good at the subject but Professor Agarwala makes you love her class because she is such a good professor. Her classes may be very hard, but she pushes you beyond your comfort zone to fully expand your knowledge. She really challenges everyone in the class to think differently, form opinions and defend them. You leave her class always feeling like your mind has been opened to so many new things and ideas. She often will send out any interesting and relevant articles that she wants to share to expand on these new ideas.