College of Arts and Sciences sweeps November Students First Awards
It’s been a busy and successful year for the College of Arts and Sciences. The college has brought on a new dean, it has landed several significant grants, and two of its employees were honored with the prestigious Students First Award in November.
Dr. Paul Many, professor of communication, and Jennifer Ramos, a secretary for the college, were surprised with their awards by President Lloyd Jacobs and members of the President’s Commission on Student Centeredness.
Ramos was nominated by Jennifer Rockwood, director of the First-Year Experience Program, and Gladys Wright, a senior in individualized programs.
Wright, who was a student worker with Ramos for three years, said, “She loves her job and the environment, and this is reflected in how she treats the students and gives them the utmost respect. As a student, I’m grateful that she is willing to give the best attention and help possible.”
Rockwood wrote, “Jennifer is always welcoming to students with problems. She calms them, helps them, and gets them on their way to solving their problems.”
Ramos said she is flattered by the award, but that her approach is pretty simple. “A lot of it is just listening. Sometimes students just need someone to talk with. We listen to them and then help them, or find out who can. I think that’s the key, we don’t send them away without answers.”
Many’s Students First Award comes on the heels of the release of his fifth children’s book, Dad’s Bald Head, for which he made an appearance on NBC’s “Today Show.”
During Many’s 27 years at UT, he has taught several forms of writing, including fiction and journalism.
Alissa Hammond, his nominator and a former student, wrote that Many is student-centered in many ways. She explained he goes over each assignment carefully, he works to find internships for students that will help advance their careers, and he makes himself available outside of classroom and office hours.
“He is everything a great teacher should be,” Hammond said. “He is the one teacher from this University that I will never forget.”
Many said he seeks to give students lots of respect and to treat them the way he would like to be treated.
“I was a student for a long time and I remember all too well when assignments were sprung on you or things came up unexpectedly. I work to make sure students know what is required in my courses; there are no mysteries.”