Monday, April 3, 2017

Exceptional promise in philosophy

Each year our department awards to students a certificate of recognition for their hard work and demonstration of promise in a current philosophy class. So, if you are a student who is not a philosophy major but has performed extraordinarily well then you would be a candidate for this award.

We really don't have an official title for it yet - but last year it was called the "Excellence in Philosophy" certificate.  Each faculty member of our department selected the best non-majors in their classes and invited them to the ceremony/event to receive their award.

Receiving such an award that recognizes one's hard work, talent, and most of all "promise" boosts one's confidence.  My thought expressed to our department was that this was a good recruiting mechanism.  Student's who are told they have a talent for philosophy but are non-majors are more likely to major.  This in fact happened.

My thought this year was to re-title the award as the "Exceptional Promise in Philosophy Award."  It's a certificate,, but most of all it is recognition for that talent and promise that a non-major, or usually undeclared major freshmen/sophomore, would demonstrate in your class.  This would be the those one or two students who impress, who naturally seem to comprehend the ideas in play, and just through their academic excellence show promise in the field of philosophy.

I think it's nice too because when students receive the award it is indeed a big deal.  Their name is called, they come before a room full of people, and with a handshake we give them their certificate. It's a great moment for each student called, and it's a great moment for us faculty who are so proud of them.