Every day, in every college, students, faculty, and staff struggle. Those struggles can be epic (how do we cure cancer) or limited (how do I factor this polynomial, how can I help this student right in front of me). Lots of folks struggle. When movie makers struggle and succeed, they get awards. Big thinkers get awards named after famous people (Noble, MaCarthur). Even people in college get awards- employee service awards, student scholarships, honor societies. Yet most awards focus more on the epic side of struggle: big events that are marked with degrees or money or wide acclaim. And those awards are given by big institutions.
We need an award for the everyday struggles in teaching and learning, less epic, and more open to all. Not an award for participation, attendance, or mere competence, but for meaningful struggle to make college better. I give you "The Gloria."
The Gloria is an open teaching and learning award. It can be awarded by anyone at the college to anyone at the college. The Gloria carries only the payment of a grateful giver. You can give as many or as few Glorias as you wish. You can alter The Gloria however you want (it's open, like open source programs: I created it, you can modify it). The Gloria can be given to students from faculty, to faculty from students, to staff from faculty, to staff from students. . . you get the idea. A few examples.
The Award For
- "Struggling with the registration system to get me the class I need to graduate" The Gloria goes to Alice, who works in the records. Presented by Joe Bear, student.
- "Hauling my butt through a rough month of English composition to help me earn a C on my argument paper" The Gloria goes to Joan, who teaches in the English department. Presented by Fatima Hassan, student.
- "Finding a way to care for your kids and still get this homework done the week your mom went in the hospital" The Gloria goes to Maria Alonso, student. Presented by Professor Fuddy Duddy.
- "Helping me find a book that proved invaluable to my paper" The Gloria goes to, Lacey, that reference librarian. Presented by Chuck, student.
- "Finally mastering a concept you've struggled with all semester" The Gloria goes to Pat, student. Presented by Professor Fuddy Duddy.
This is an award by you to anyone who has helped make college better for you. Click the link to file- fill in the "The Award For," "Goes To" and "Presented By" fields and print or email to the recipient. Be creative.
The Gloria is named after Gloria Aronson, a forty-year professor of history (now emeritus) at Normandale Community College. She pioneered teaching world history, women's history, and study abroad at Normandale.
College is a struggle- Let's honor those hurly-burly teaching and learning struggles that end in a win with an award- The Gloria.