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Nichols Named 2014 Missouri Professor of the Year

November 20, 2014

Andrea Nichols  
Andrea Nichols

Andrea Nichols, Ph.D., professor of sociology at St. Louis Community College-Forest Park, has been named the 2014 Missouri Professor of the Year by The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). 


Nichols was chosen for the honor from nearly 400 top professors in the United States.


“This award is really a reflection of our students,” Nichols said when she learned of the award. Part of the nomination process included letters of recommendation from students, and in addition to past students, Nichols asked her current students if any of them would be willing to recommend her. Almost all of them said they would.


“I think I ended up with a few more letters of recommendation than was required,” Nichols said.


“Dr. Nichols’ dedication to students, commitment to teaching excellence, and passionate service to the community made her the perfect choice for this honor,” said Tracy Hall, vice president for academic affairs at STLCC-Forest Park.


Nichols’ teaching style focuses on involving her students in the subject matter through interactive lectures and small group work, allowing all students to contribute to the class. She currently is teaching introductory sociology, as well as courses on crime and society, sex trafficking, social problems, and family and society.


“Every group of students is different,” Nichols said. “As a teacher, you have to get a feel for your classroom. I feel it is really important for everyone’s voice to be heard.”


This year, a Professor of the Year was recognized in 31 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. Nichols was selected from faculty members nominated by colleges and universities throughout the country.


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.


The Carnegie Foundation is an independent policy and research center that supports needed transformations in American education through tighter connections between teaching practice, evidence of student learning, the communication and use of this evidence, and structured opportunities to build knowledge.


Headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices in London, Singapore and Mexico City, CASE is a professional association serving educational institutions and the advancement professionals at all levels who work in alumni relations, communications, fundraising, marketing and other areas.