Six Faculty Members Showcased Among America's 'Best 300 Professors' -- The Only School in Indiana Featured

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology has six of America's best undergraduate college professors, according to student surveys used by The Princeton Review as the basis for its new book, The Best 300 Professors, released on April 3.

The book's roster of top professors features teachers in more than 60 fields from 122 colleges and universities across the nation. Rose-Hulman professors profiled in the book include:

  • Phillip Cornwell, PhD, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of Mechanical Engineering
  • Diane Evans, PhD, Associate Professor of Mathematics
  • Elton Graves, DA, Associate Professor of Mathematics
  • Yosi Shibberu, PhD, Associate Professor of Mathematics
  • Richard Stamper, PhD, Interim Associate Dean of Professional Experiences and Professor of Mechanical Engineering
  • William Weiner, PhD, Associate Professor of Applied Biology and Biomedical Engineering

Rose-Hulman is the only Indiana college or university to have a professor selected to the prestigious list, and only 10 other institutions had six or more professors chosen. The final group of "best" professors chosen constitutes less than .02 percent of the roughly 1.8 million post-secondary teachers instructing students at colleges and universities across the United States.

"Teaching is the fabric that's woven through Rose-Hulman's mission to provide our students with the world's best undergraduate education in engineering, mathematics, and science in an environment of individual attention and support," said Rose-Hulman President Matt Branam. "While we're proud and honored to have six of our colleagues highlighted among the best in the nation in undergraduate teaching, this recognition truly features the inspiring teaching and mentorship that all of our faculty members provide every day."

Branam pointed out that five of the six faculty honored by The Princeton Review have received the Dean's Outstanding Teacher Award (Cornwell, Evans, Graves, Stamper, and Weiner) and two earned the Board of Trustees' Outstanding Scholar Award (Cornwell and Stamper). Also, Rose-Hulman had three of the 32 math professors (Evans, Graves, and Shibberu) and two of the nine engineering professors (Cornwell and Stamper) profiled in the publication.

Cornwell Graves Evans
Phillip Cornwell Elton Graves Diane Evans

The Princeton Review culled an initial list using its surveys of hundreds of thousands of students that revealed the colleges at which students highly rated their professors' teaching ability and accessibility. Data from, the highest-trafficked college professor ratings site in America, identified more than 42,000 professors at those schools that students had rated on its site. Combining this information, a base list of 1,000 professors was formed. After obtaining further input from school administrators and students, as well as from Princeton Review's surveys of the professors under consideration, the editors of The Princeton Review made the final choices of the professors profiled in the book.

"One of the great things about Rose-Hulman is we live our mission. We say we're focused on teaching and our students' success, and we mean it," stated Cornwell, who became Rose-Hulman's chief academic officer in 2011. "I know of no other school in the country that has such a strong institutional alignment around its mission, or one that has such a great group of faculty, staff, and students."

In Rose-Hulman's profile in the Best 300 Professors, The Princeton Review editors cited the institution for providing a "learning environment like nothing I have seen at other schools, one in which a 'friendly and welcoming' vibe and 'family atmosphere' makes students feel as if they are part of 'one big family' . . . All of this is aimed at one thing: providing great academics. At Rose-Hulman, the courses are challenging yet rewarding."

One Rose-Hulman student told The Princeton Review that "teachers giving out cell phone numbers and knowing your name, not just a number in the system, is what college should be about."

Active learning is a component consistent with all six Rose-Hulman professors cited in Best 300 Professors. Cornwell prepared students to approach any problem with confidence. He taught material with constant reference to applications of the principles, helping his students become better problem solvers in all situations. Evans encourages collaborative learning and is considered exceptional at getting students to understand mathematical concepts.

"It is a wonderful career to be able to share my love of something with others," said Evans. "I've never taught at a school where students were so appreciative and receptive to learning. They are respectful, bright, inquisitive, and just so enjoyable to interact with."

Shibberu Stamper Weiner
Yosi Shibberu Richard Stamper William Weiner

Graves, a member of the Rose-Hulman faculty for over 30 years, attempts to make such subjects as calculus, differential equations and boundary value problems clear, relevant, and interesting. Shibberu inspires students to set ambitious goals and work hard to achieve them, and uses a storytelling approach with interesting characters, mixing in a little mystery and suspense, to teach math.

"Shibberu is the nicest and (most) considerate professor I have had at Rose-Hulman so far!" stated one of his former students. "He makes learning come naturally, too."

Stamper, a 1985 Rose-Hulman alumnus, cares about more than disseminating information: he cares about the impact that his students will have on society and the engineering profession. His courses include Failures of Engineered Systems and Intellectual Property for Engineers and Scientists. Weiner wants students to feel comfortable around him and willing to seek his assistance for extra help. He also wants students leaving his courses to appreciate how exciting biology can be.

"Everyone has a capacity to learn; it is the professor's job to figure out how best to make this happen," said Weiner. "For me, the personal connection with my students is critical. It is important to me to establish early in the term that I genuinely care about all of my students and will work my hardest to help them learn."

Stamper added: "Rose-Hulman is a wonderful place to be a teacher because it brings together all the important ingredients: bright motivated students, supportive faculty colleagues that share a love for teaching, a talented staff that is aligned with the educational mission of the institute, and classroom infrastructure that allows an instructor to deploy a range of tools to engage the students."

Princeton Review's Best 300 Professors book was published on April 3, 2012. It includes a profile of Rose-Hulman and all six selected professors. A complete list of the professors in the book is accessible at


About Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

Founded in 1874, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology offers a rigorous, hands-on education that stresses development of technical and interpersonal skills in an environment characterized by close personal attention for every student. The college, located in Terre Haute, Ind., has an enrollment of 1,900 undergraduate students and 100 graduate students. For 13 consecutive years, Rose-Hulman has been rated the top undergraduate engineering college in the nation that offers the bachelor's or master's degree as its top degree in engineering. The ranking is based on a national survey of deans and senior faculty conducted by U.S. News & World Report for its college guidebook. Learn more about Rose-Hulman at


About The Princeton Review

The Princeton Review has been a pioneer and leader in helping students achieve their higher education goals for 30 years through college and graduate school test preparation and private tutoring. With more than 165 print and digital publications and a free website,, the company provides students and their parents with the resources to research, apply to, prepare for, and learn how to pay for higher education. The Princeton Review partners with schools and guidance counselors throughout the U.S. to assist in college readiness, test preparation and career planning services, helping more students pursue postsecondary education. The company also owns and operates Penn Foster Education Group, a global leader in online education, providing career-focused degree and vocational programs in the fields of allied health, business, technology, education, and select trades through the Penn Foster High School and Penn Foster Career School ( For more information, visit