goldendeliciousShe’s the rock star who teaches every class in a pencil skirt and vertiginous heels. Her lectures are so inspiring that she has to request her students withhold their applause at the end of each one. She’s the chair of the undergraduate urban-studies major and the associate dean of academic affairs in the International and Area Studies department. Her name is Ananya Roy, and she’s out to make you care, damnit.

A week ago, delivery interrupted a graduate seminar that Roy was teaching to heap much adulation and apples and purty flowers upon her unsuspecting person. The formal Golden Apple Award ceremony will take place in Dwinelle Hall at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 24, when she’ll deliver her “Ideal Last Lecture” and rack up a couple of grand for being just that awesome.

Roy teaches the wildly popular course, “Global Poverty: Challenges and Hopes in the New Millenium”, every fall semester. Reportedly, the class started out as an eight-week seminar with space for about a couple dozen students. Then it expanded. And expanded. And kept right on expanding. It was like the universe or Google or something. read more »

800px-golden_russet_apple.jpgSometimes, professors need concrete proof of students’ appreciation–proof that doesn’t consist of sucking up during office hours in hopes of a glowing letter of recommendation. And so students created the “The Golden Apple Award for Outstanding Teaching,” named so because it historically incites intense jealousy in the community of professors who don’t win the honor.

In 2007, students nominated a total of 54 professors. Five were finalists, and department of history Professor Leon Litwack eventually claimed the honor during his last semester teaching.

The 2008 nomination process is now open and goes until Apr. 6. After choosing the winner, the ASUC, California Alumni Association and Berkeley Hillel go to the professor’s classroom with an undoubtedly welcome surprise of a $2500 award and a symbolic basket of apples.

Want to be a part of the post-nomination selection process? Turn in a resume to participate in choosing the “fairest” professor of them all!

Image Source: Abrahami under Creative Commons
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