Published February 17, 2014
Kim Javor, an instructor in the Department of Mathematics, College of Arts and Sciences, is one of the inaugural recipients of the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Adjunct Teaching, the newest category in the systemwide honor conferred each year by SUNY’s chancellor to recognize outstanding achievement by faculty, staff and students.
“Adjunct teachers are a key component of the SUNY faculty, providing top-quality instruction and making an important contribution to academic success and degree completion among students,” Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher said last week in announcing the new award and the names of the recipients. “Those honored with our inaugural awards are truly the best of the best, having demonstrated extraordinary dedication to their students and an exceptional commitment to teaching excellence.”
Forty-six adjunct faculty members received the award, which recognizes consistently superior teaching at the graduate, undergraduate or professional level.
Javor, who joined the mathematics department in the spring 2009 semester, teaches a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses, including difficult classes that typically are taught by full-time faculty.
She previously taught at Syracuse University and in UB’s Millard Fillmore College. She received a BA and MA in mathematics from UB and an MS in probability and statistics from Syracuse. She has completed coursework at Syracuse toward a PhD in mathematics and at UB toward a master’s degree in biostatistics.
In his letter recommending Javor for the award, department chair David J. Hemmer wrote that what sets Javor apart from other adjuncts “is her complete dedication to her students’ understanding, and her willingness to commit vast amounts of her time to working with them individually and in small groups.”
Such time commitment, Hemmer noted, “is almost unheard of for part-time adjuncts, who are being paid by the course.”
Javor also is willing to commit time to department initiatives, also unusual for an adjunct, he added, pointing out that almost every semester she has volunteered to serve as a mentor to an undergraduate teaching assistant.
Student evaluations of her teaching have been overwhelmingly positive, and for the question “would you recommend this instructor?” her scores are routinely above the 75th percentile for the department, and occasionally above the 90th percentile.
“Not a single time have they even been average, let alone below,” Hemmer wrote. “Particularly striking is that the comments are entirely positive, not a single disgruntled student in the mix. This is really remarkable, and is something I have never seen.”
Well done Kim! The mathematics department and UB are lucky to have you!