The Professor of the Year designation is awarded annually by the WSU Student Senate on behalf of the student body. Guiding criteria for the award include whether the professor is accommodating, accountable, engaging, teaching relevant material, and working towards textbook affordability. Nominations are solicited directly from students and a student-wide vote is conducted.
“The wonderful thing about this honor is that it is determined based solely from student voices,” said Christopher Latzig, Student Senate Vice President. “They nominate and ultimately decide the Professor of the Year.”
Upright, who was named Professor of the Year in May 2017 as well, serves as an Assistant Professor in the WSU Sociology Department and has been teaching at Winona State since 2011. He received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics and English literature from St. Olaf College and a PhD in sociology from Princeton University.
“This award is extremely gratifying because it comes from the most important group on the WSU campus — our students,” he said.
Upright said he focuses on creating a good sense of rapport in the classroom.
“I love teaching because it provides me with the opportunity to work every day with so many thoughtful and engaged young scholars. I’m so pleased with their efforts to better understand the social world we live in.”
According to Upright, the award is also especially meaningful because he is surrounded by outstanding colleagues who continue to inspire him with their dedication and desire to mentor others.
“Winning this award for the second year in a row would not have been possible without the continued support and encouragement from my colleagues in my department,” said Upright. “This award helps affirm that we’re all working together to help our students and our university to make a positive impact on our world.”
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