Clayton State University Professor of Social Sciences Dr. Karen B. Young has been named the Gene Hatfield Teacher of the Year for the 2013/2014 academic year by the University’s College of Arts & Sciences.
The Gene Hatfield Teacher of the Year Award recognizes the accomplishments of outstanding faculty members within the College of Arts and Sciences. Now in its sixth year, the annual award is presented to a teacher who displays enthusiasm, creativity, compassion, authority, authenticity, patience, persistence, or humor in their teaching and interactions with students. The Arts & Sciences Teacher of the Year award is made possible by, and is named after, Dr. Eugene Hatfield, long-time (1976–2008) history professor at Clayton State.
“I am deeply grateful to my faculty peers who felt me worthy enough to be nominated for such an award and on the notion of being chosen as the person to receive it, I am honored,” says Young, who received her bachelor’s master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of California. “I am thrilled and I am humbled to have been chosen to represent such an esteemed group of colleagues in the College of Arts & Sciences in this way.”
“Established in 2008 by a generous gift from Dr. Eugene A. Hatfield, the College of Arts and Sciences Scholar and Teacher of the Year awards are bestowed annually upon two full-time faculty members whose contributions made a substantial impact in advancing the College’s mission of service through teaching, research, and creative endeavors,” explains Dr. Nasser Momayezi, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. “These awards recognize scholarly excellence or outstanding teaching as determined by peer review. This year’s award recipients, Dr. Jere Boudell and Dr. Karen Young, as Arts and Sciences scholar and teacher of the year, respectively, are recognized for having brought distinction to the College through their hard work and commitment to the institution.
“I believe that these awards are the highest honors which can be bestowed upon any faculty member at this University, because they are the best among us.”
“I have always believed that the teaching and mentoring of students has not been just a profession for me, but a calling of the highest order and my orchestration of it, a gift!” says Young. “It is a calling for which I have accepted the social responsibility, one that I have taken very seriously, one that I have embraced very passionately and one that I will forever remain committed to.”
Since Young epitomizes the best among the Clayton State faculty, it’s not surprising that she also represents their core attributes of the University, educational experiences like experiential learning and providing community support and service. In a word, she empowers her students.
“Whether the students and I have been in the classroom together, presenting together at a professional conference, or out among the people rendering community service, nothing has given me greater pleasure than to witness the active enhancement of each student’s learning capacity and the increased social awareness, consciousness, and commitment they have exhibited,” she says. “It makes me feel like all the time, sacrifice and labor I’ve put in throughout the years has not been in vain… In every teaching moment, whether it’s been inside the classroom or in the field with students, I have tried to model for them by exemplifying the principles of teaching from the perspective of a servant-leader. I have tried to positively help enhance a student’s self-esteem and build their confidence in themselves as I lift them while they climb.”