Jack Jensen Award for Excellence in Teaching
The college's highest recognition of faculty, the Jack Jensen Award honors a faculty member who communicates high expectations, encourages intellectual curiosity within and across disciplines, and inspires students to do their best work. The recipient engages students in class and encourages cooperation among them, as well as respects their diverse talents and ways of learning. This faculty member encourages contact with students, uses a variety of teaching methods and holds students accountable. The recipient is selected each year based on nominations submitted by students, faculty and staff.
Jody E. Murphy
Assistant Professor of Business Administration
Assistant Professor of Business Administration Jody E. Murphy has been selected as the recipient of the Jack Jensen Award for Excellence in Teaching. Professor Murphy teaches courses in accounting, investment and strategic management, personal and corporate finance, introduction to organizations and managerial communications, as well as a Pathway seminar. Her professional interests include financial markets, such as NYSE Euronext and NASDAQ, student-managed investment funds, quantitative literacy and business ethics education.
Professor Murphy is a dedicated professor (who) brings great experience and excitement to class everyday, wrote one of her students. She has been an inspiration and has provided exceptional education in and outside the classroom. Professor Murphy has played a key individual role in the progress I have made in my education at Colby-Sawyer College.
A faculty colleague who works closely with Professor Murphy and has observed her in the classroom is impressed by her commitment to students and the college. Her classes combine lectures with illustrations of problem-solving and a variety of group activities.
Professor Murphy has also created some unusual and exceptional opportunities for our students to increase their learning and appreciation of the field of business and finance, the faculty member wrote, referencing visits to the New York Stock Exchange and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Through her networking and development of key contacts, our students get on the trading floor of the exchange and have an opportunity to talk with the traders. When they visit the FED, the experience is equally revealing for them. This experience has become an annual event and is looked forward to with great anticipation by our students.
A faculty member since 2004, Professor Murphy holds a B.S. from Franklin Pierce College, an M.B.A. from New Hampshire College, and a Ph.D. from Capella University.
Nancy Beyer Opler '56 Award for Excellence in Advising
The award recognizes a faculty member who is accessible to advisees; makes a meaningful connection with advisees that continues over time; supports advisees in academic and professional planning; and facilitates advisees' adjustment to the community. The recipient will have a good understanding of the college's policies and procedures, will advocates for the advisees' best interests and supports their autonomy and responsibility. The selection is based on students' nominations.
William A. Thomas
Professor of Natural Sciences
Professor William "Bill" Thomas is a cellular and developmental biologist. His interests lie in developmental neurobiology with an emphasis on cell-to-cell and cell-to-substratum adhesion. He has expertise in biochemical purification; developmental, cellular, and molecular biology; immunochemical techniques; and microscopy. In addition to teaching, he conducts research into cell adhesion at the Curie Institute in Paris each summer. Since 2010, he has involved many students in his research and assisted them in developing related independent research.
Bill is accessible, approachable and extremely supportive. He is willing to fight for his advisees' best interests, a fact which I learned from personal experience, wrote one student in a nomination. He has always provided valuable insight in terms of classes and scheduling, but when I mentioned that my financial aid situation was also affecting my academics and my emotional life, he took action. This came as a total surprise to me a very pleasant one.
Another student nominated Professor Thomas because he is not just an advisor, but a valuable ally to any advisee. The student wrote that Professor Thomas went beyond his call of duty to help me out getting a job in the CSC water lab. He also had demonstrated that he cares about his advisees, by regularly emailing us to ask how we're doing. He's awesome!
Yet another student described Professor Thomas as a great professor and advisor as he has guided me through a successful college experience. He has been such an inspiration for me and many students.
Professor Thomas joined the faculty in 1991. He received B.A. from Hamilton College and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Princeton University.