Recognition by one’s peers is one of the highest honors that can be bestowed in academia. At Clayton State University, that recognition comes in its highest form in the annual Alice J. Smith Awards.
As part of the Apr. 27 Faculty/Staff Awards Ceremony at Clayton State, Associate Professor of Philosophy Dr. Todd Janke received that special recognition as the winner of the 2010 Alice J. Smith Faculty Award. Although, as he stated from the podium, he makes a living speaking to groups of people, Janke was somewhat at a loss for words to describe how he felt.
“I love teaching and to be acknowledged for doing something you love is a tremendous honor,” he finally said.
An annual event since 1995, the Smith Awards are presented to the Clayton State faculty member and staff member ranked most outstanding as determined by committees of their peers. The two, $1000 awards were established by local philanthropist Joseph Smith in honor of his wife, Alice.
An associate professor of Philosophy at Clayton State since 2004, Janke is originally from Minnesota. He received his B.A. from St. Olaf College, and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Georgetown University. Janke is also currently a nominee for the Clayton State College of Arts & Sciences Teacher of the Year Award.
When asked about his profession as part of the Smith Award nomination process, Janke said that the most rewarding part of his time at Clayton State is making philosophy come alive for students, and that he enjoys watching students transform each semester and really learning how to grapple with really dense text.
When he’s not transforming students, Janke is an avid collector and restorer of antique typewriters.
The other finalists for the 2010 Alice Smith Faculty Award were: from the College of Arts & Sciences, Dr. Susan Copeland; from the College of Information and Mathematical Sciences, Dr. Kelli Nipper; from the College of Health, Dr. Charlene Romer; and from the School of Business, Dr. Margaret Thompson.