November

Michelle Loris is Connecticut Professor of the Year

Michelle Loris teaches in her Modern American Fiction class.

News Story: November 13, 2013

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education have named Sacred Heart University’s Professor Michelle Loris the 2013 Connecticut Professor of the Year. Loris, a resident of Fairfield, was selected from more than 350 top professors in the United States.

“When I read the letter saying I won the award I was thrilled, honored, humbled and grateful all at once. The award speaks to a lifetime of achievement and so I could only be thrilled to have been chosen,” Loris said. “Being a professor, a teacher, is certainly much of who I am and what I have dedicated my life to, which makes the award all the more special. But it is also very humbling, because I can only hope that some of the students I have taught over the past years have indeed been inspired, excited and transformed by their learning with me.” 

Loris serves as professor and associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. She is the director of The Human Journey Common Core and brought national recognition to the program through the Lilly Fellows Network Exchange Grant and Conference, the Davis Foundation Educational Grant for Faculty Development, the AAC&U Grant and an article in Liberal Education. She organized The Human Journey Colloquia Series and coordinates the College of Arts and Sciences graduate programs, online courses, transfer registration and academic actions. She teaches literature and psychology courses and advises over 70 students. She is the author of two books (about authors Joan Didion and Gloria Naylor) and several articles in the areas of literature, psychology and writing/composition. She earned a Ph.D. in American literature from Fordham University and a Psy.D. in clinical psychology from Antioch University Graduate School.

She also expressed gratitude to the students and colleagues who wrote recommendations on her behalf for the award.

“We are very excited to have another member of our faculty selected as Connecticut Professor of the Year (Professor Gary Rose of SHU’s Department of Government and Politics was the 2011 Connecticut Professor of the Year),” said SHU President John J. Petillo. “Not only has Michelle had a long professional history here at SHU, but she is also an alumnus. She is dedicated, creative and forward-thinking—a mentor to students and faculty alike. She certainly is extremely deserving of this honor.”

Adds Seamus Carey, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, “it is exciting to have the Carnegie Foundation and CASE validate what we already know—that Michelle Loris is an exceptional teacher and faculty member who goes well beyond what is expected of her both in her interactions with the students and in her contributions to the curriculum and the University as a whole.”

CASE and the Carnegie Foundation have been partners in offering the U.S. Professors of the Year awards program since 1981. Additional support for the program is received from Phi Beta Kappa, which sponsors an evening congressional reception, the Professional and Organizational Development (POD) Network in Higher Education and other higher education associations.

This year, a state Professor of the Year was recognized in 36 states. CASE assembled two preliminary panels of judges to select finalists. The Carnegie Foundation then convened the third and final panel, which selected four national winners. CASE and Carnegie select state winners from top entries resulting from the judging process. Loris was selected from faculty members nominated by colleges and universities throughout the country.