Student Success Conference Making History

All four 2012 U.S. Professor of the Year honorees to participate in annual event celebrating student achievement at USF.


By Kevin Burke

Special to USF News


TAMPA, Fla. (March 1, 2013) — Four of the country’s most outstanding undergraduate instructors will share insights on what makes them particularly effective teachers during the University of South Florida’s Third Annual Student Success Conference scheduled for Wednesday, April 3, on the USF campus.


Autar Kaw

Lois Roma-Deeley

Christy Price

Todd Pagano

The gathering will mark the first time in history that all four U.S. Professor of the Year honorees have appeared together outside of the formal presentation ceremony in Washington, D.C., since the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and Council for Advancement and Support of Education launched the joint recognition program in 1981.


Given each year in four categories reflecting the Carnegie Foundation’s classification of higher education institutions — community colleges, baccalaureate colleges, master’s universities and colleges, and doctoral and research universities — the U.S. Professor of the Year awards applaud exceptional faculty for their distinguished teaching, enthusiasm for learning, caring and selfless attitudes, and commitment to undergraduate students. It is the only national program designed specifically to recognize excellence in undergraduate teaching and mentoring.


Selected from a field of nearly 300 nominees representing 34 states and the District of Columbia, the national winners for 2012 are Autar Kaw, professor of mechanical engineering at USF; Lois Roma-Deeley, professor of creative writing at Paradise Valley Community College in Phoenix, Ariz.; Christy Price, professor of psychology at Dalton State College in Dalton, Ga.; and Todd Pagano, associate professor in the department of science and mathematics and director of the laboratory science program at the Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf in Rochester, N.Y.


“Inspired by Professor Kaw’s example, we thought that faculty, students, advisers, and other professional staff at USF could gain, as well, from the innovative approaches to the teaching and learning experience exhibited by his fellow Professor of the Year recipients,” said Paul Dosal, USF vice provost for student success.

“They represent a broad spectrum of academic expertise, from the design of programs and teaching techniques that engage millennial learners or open up new scholarly and professional opportunities for students with special needs, to the use of online resources, social media, and creative out-of-class activities to expand and enhance the learning environment.

“We are extremely fortunate that each Professor of the Year honoree has agreed to be a part of our upcoming conference, which seeks to further strengthen an institutional culture at USF that facilitates and supports student achievement, and we anticipate a strong turnout for this extraordinary and historic event,” Dosal said.

During their stay, Professors Roma-Deely, Pagano, and Price will meet informally with USF college and department leadership as well as colleagues in their respective disciplines, engage with representatives of the five Faculty Learning Communities at the center of USF’s Academy for Teaching and Learning Excellence, lunch with senior administrators, participate in a question-and-answer session with members of the university’s Student Success Council, and meet with local media.

The day’s busy itinerary will conclude with a large town hall-style meeting for the broader USF community from 2 to 4 p.m. in Marshall Student Center Room 2708.

Individuals interested in attending the town hall session may register at:


Kevin Burke can be reached at 813-974-0192.