Maria Raicheva-Stover, mass media assistant professor, was recently recognized with the Student Life Achieving Excellence Award. Nominated by a student, the award recognizes her outstanding commitment to those she teaches.
The initiative for the Student Life Achieving Excellence Award became a reality in the fall of 2000. Vice president of student life Denise Ottinger started the program, and the Student Life Team sponsors the award and functions as the selection committee. Only seven recipients of the award are chosen each year.
The criteria for nominees set high standards that Raicheva-Stover upheld in her professional and personal life. When asked about her qualifications for the award, she provided a modest explanation.
“I guess [because of my] dedication and the ability to listen and care about students,” said Raicheva-Stover.
In her nomination, she was described as an asset to students in advising them and providing feedback so that they can achieve their highest writing potential. This contribution especially relates to the principle of achieving excellence identified in the award criteria as implementing proactive advising, counseling and assistance. Raicheva-Stover’s ability to facilitate avenues to enhance student development of leadership skills, practices and behavior fulfills another principle listed in the award criteria.
For her, this is a tremendous honor that came as a complete surprise.
“I didn’t expect it at all,” said Raicheva-Stover. “I think in terms of recognition, the fact that I was nominated by a student and not another colleague really means a lot.”
The award was presented during her publication technology class in front of her students, the entire mass media department and about 20 additional people, including Ottinger.
“I hardly kept my tears,” said Raicheva-Stover. “I was speechless, but I think my face showed my gratitude.”
She was given a certificate and pin that is displayed in her office.
“Passion for learning, I really, truly believe is a lifelong experience,” said Raicheva-Stover. “I try to model that behavior by being enthusiastic about my subject, with the hope that my students will kind of get infected with it.”
For more information about the award or to nominate an individual, visit Morgan Hall Room 104 and speak with Ottinger or Vicki Baer, Student Life secretary. The nominations will be reviewed on a monthly basis to determine the winner.