USF Welcomes Quartet of Best U.S. Professors

Apr 4, 2013

Carnegie 2012 best professors Todd Pagano, left, and USF’s Autar Kaw share their background and philosophy on teaching Wednesday in Tampa.
Credit Daniel Wallace / Tampa Bay Times

The University of South Florida is normally home of one 2012 U.S. Professor of the Year--USF Mechanical Engineering Professor Autar Kaw--but on Wednesday, it welcomed all four winners.

It's the first time the group had been together since they received their awards from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, the quartet spoke at USF's third annual Student Success Conference.

For USF's Kaw, it's about making an emotional connection with students. It can take time, he said, but some students tell him things they're not comfortable telling their parents. And on an academic level, it's about setting high expectations and not wavering.

"Sometimes I do get student comments that I expect too much from them," he said. "The word gets out that I do have high expectations so they do hunker down."

Kaw was profiled earlier this year on WUSF's University Beat.