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Posted at 11:27 AM ET, 04/21/2011

College professors: Who are your heroes? (#standoutprofs)


Psychology professor Deborah Stearns of Montgomery College is the 2010 Maryland Professor of the Year. (By Juana Arias/For The Washington Post)
When it comes to navigating college life — which can be as simple as figuring out how to wake up in time for class — sometimes there’s no better compass than a really good teacher.

Enter Deborah Stearns, a psychology professor at Montgomery College and the 2010 Maryland Professor of the Year. Stearns earned the accolade for her human sexuality course, in which her frank and high-expectations approach caught the attention of the U.S. Professors of the Year awards program. Stearns’s past teaching record includes prestigious schools such as the University of Chicago and Georgetown University, but she said her non-traditional, community college students, who can vary in age from 20 to 62, provide a different perspective.

“They’re working two jobs, and they have family responsibilities, and they have so much going on,” Stearns said, “but I still want to give them the best education they can get.”

Have you ever had a professor who was the highlight of your daily class schedule? Are there professors out there who use social media or blogging, like Stearns does, as another point of access for students?

And how about the opposite — who would you give a failing grade on Rate My Professors?

Tell us your story on Twitter using #standoutprofs and we’ll post your shout-out into this blog, or leave your story in the comments below.

@washingtonpost Dr. Zuckerman @ CSU, Sacramento: had such passion for his profession; knew I needed to find same in my life. #standoutprofsless than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhone Favorite Retweet Reply

#standoutprofs for me was a Dr Brian Farmer Rader. His ideas help furnish a great since of respect for politics & life. @washingtonpostless than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhone Favorite Retweet Reply

#standoutprofs Yes, the late Vernon Merrifield, design prof, taught me to have a thick skin for criticism & understand visual communicationless than a minute ago via Echofon Favorite Retweet Reply

@washingtonpost Philip Burton at the University of Illinois at Chicago, School of Art and Design was my #standoutprofs. #UIC #graphicdesignless than a minute ago via Twitter for iPad Favorite Retweet Reply

#standoutprofs for me was a Dr Brian Farmer Rader. His ideas help furnish a great since of respect for politics & life. @washingtonpostless than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhone Favorite Retweet Reply

By  |  11:27 AM ET, 04/21/2011

 
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