Winona State University Professor of Sociology Craig Upright was selected as this year’s Professor of the Year by the WSU Student Senate on behalf of the student body.

During each Student Senate spring supplemental election, WSU students are asked to nominate candidates for the Professor of the Year award. The professors who receive the most nominations are then selected to appear on the spring general election ballot.

“We encourage students to nominate faculty that have done outstanding work and are passionate about improving the student experience,” said Christopher Veeder, Student Senate Vice President.

Upright received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics and English literature from St. Olaf College. After graduating, he opened a coffee shop in St. Paul, Minn.

“I was also the purchasing agent for a fine-dining restaurant that emphasized local and organic foods. This sparked my interest in the cultural and political movements that influenced sustainable agriculture,” said Upright. “I received a PhD in sociology from Princeton University, where I researched the 1970s development of organic food and cooperative grocery stores in Minnesota.”

Upright said he was inspired to teach by his own experiences of positive support from teachers in his life.

“This is the best job in the world — I can’t imagine any career being more satisfying. I get to work every day with bright, engaged students exploring some of the mysteries of our social world,” said Upright. “I’m surrounded by wonderful colleagues who share the mission of educating the future leaders of our society, and all of our work is championed by a supportive administration.”

Upright is honored and humbled to be recognized by students.

“It’s wonderful to receive this type of feedback, to know that I’m having a positive impact on my students,” said Upright. “I receive energy from them every day, and this award is a reflection of their efforts as much as mine.”

For more information, contact University Communications at 507-457-5024.

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Kassidy Jackson

Kassidy graduated in 2019 with a BA in Public Relations and minors in Advertising and Dance. She is from Rosemount, MN and her interests include dancing, choreographing and listening to music.

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