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Those are just some of the things students share about Rose-Hulman faculty in a new book spotlighting America's best professors. It's a small, select group honored in The Princeton Review's The Best 300 Professors, yet Rose-Hulman had not just one but six on the prestigious list. Considering that there are more than 4,000 colleges and universities across the United States, employing nearly 2 million post-secondary teachers, that's an incredible achievement. 04ExcellenceMain-3
   "I had five of these six professors," recalls Brad Woodcox (ME, 2004; MSBE, 2009), who sees it as hardly coincidental that Rose-Hulman has so many professors on the list. "Rose-Hulman attracts professors who really enjoy teaching- and teaching is different from lecturing. They have a genuine concern for wanting students to learn." Woodcox is also not surprised that students describe their professors as "cool," and talk a lot about the jokes their professors tell and off-the-wall stories shared in the classroom. These professors, he says, build strong relationships with their students in a way that helps them better connect from a teaching perspective. "A lot of professors at Rose-Hulman will reach out on a personal level, with personal anecdotes and stories from their  lives," says Woodcox. "It's getting to know students on a personal level, so students have a personal connection with their professors."
   "I think it's a reflection that our emphasis is on students and undergraduate education," says Phillip Cornwell, Ph.D., Vice President for Academic Affairs. "Our professors view their primary responsibility as teaching and educating our students."
   That emphasis on students' needs also shows up in the "open door" policy that is so prevalent on campus. At Rose-Hulman, "professors are available large parts of the day," Woodcox says.
   Add to that the small class sizes, and you have a recipe for teaching success. "When you have small classes, you know every student by name," Cornwell says. "You recognize them and you value [each one of] them as a person."
   While Cornwell is pleased to find Rose-Hulman so well represented in The Best 300 Professors, he says there are many more on the faculty who are equally deserving of the limelight. In fact, he says, the quality of teaching is infectious. "We have so many talented educators that it raises everybody's level of teaching." "I wouldn't be surprised to see even more professors from Rose-Hulman earn this distinction in the future," agrees Woodcox, now director of investment and operations at HalberdCross LLC and technical specialist for Novak, Druce + Quigg in California. "As an alumnus, I'm thrilled to see Rose-Hulman recognized on such a grand scale." Page Square