Paul B. Snider Award for Excellence in Teaching

Department of Communication The Paul B. Snider Award for Teaching Excellence in Communication

The Paul B. Snider Award for Teaching Excellence is provided as a means of recognizing outstanding teaching among the communication. The award is also meant to honor Dr. Snider, whose excellence as a teacher is well remembered by his former students and those who have chosen to contribute to the funding of the award.

Upon graduating from high school in 1936, Paul Snider started his journalism career as a paperboy at Scripps-Howard newspaper in Cleveland, Ohio. He later became a writer and finally moved to the photo department. In World War II, he served as a communication officer in London, Berlin, and Paris. After the war, Paul Snider worked for UPI as its manager of the Detroit bureau for five years. Paul Snider received his undergraduate degree from the University of Missouri, a Master’s degree from the University of Oregon, and a Ph.D from the University of Iowa.

Dr. Snider taught at Stephens College, Columbia, Missouri, and University of Oregon-Eugene before joined Bradley University in1955 where he became the chairman of the Journalism Program in 1956, a position he held until 1970. Dr. Snider worked at the Peoria Journal Star as a news editor for four summers.  Dr. Snider was a Fulbright Scholar in Afghanistan, lectured in Iran, and established a Mass Communication Department at the American University of Beirut.  While there Dr. Snider was accredited as a foreign correspondent to Chicago Today, Chicago Tribune’s short-lived evening newspaper.

Dr. Snider received the Bradley University Putnam Award in 1976. A pioneer in using desktop and laptop computers in journalism, Dr. Snider has lived in six countries and visited about 35 countries. Dr. Snider became an Emeritus Professor in 1986.

Eligibility and Nomination Criteria

Nominations are solicited by the Department of Communication every other year.

Only faculty members in the Department of Communication, who have completed at least three years as tenured or tenure-track full-time appointment at Bradley University, are eligible. Candidate must also have academic advisement responsibilities to be eligible.

Nominations are accepted from current Communication majors and alumni of the Department of Communication, and are submitted to the Paul B. Snider Award for Teaching Excellence Committee.

Nominees must demonstrate extraordinary dedication to undergraduate teaching, as evidenced by the following criteria:

  1. Scholarship in Teaching:
    1. Knowledge of the subject area.
    2. Knowledge of fields related to the subject area.
    3. Breadth of such knowledge.
    4. Professional development and achievement that enhance excellence in teaching.
  2. Pedagogical Skills:
    1. Ability to organize material during pre-class preparation.
    2. Clear-cut course objectives and allowance for addition of student objectives to the course.
    3. Assignments that are:
      1. Meaningful, challenging, thought-provoking, engaging, stimulating, and demanding;
      2. Related to course objectives;
      3. Thoroughly understood by students in terms of both purpose and method;
  3. Communication Skills:
    1. Facility in speaking and discussion techniques – as evidenced by:
      1. Ability to communicate the subject matter in a meaningful manner,
      2. Ability to organize material in the development of ideas during class discussion,
      3. The use of imaginative teaching methods.
    2. Ability to make students think critically – as evidenced by:
      1. The encouragement of student participation in class activities within the broad confines of class objectives and content,
      2. A willingness to encourage and discuss viewpoints which differ from his or her own ideas,
      3. Ability to induce and channel creativity in the student.
    3. Ability to set high standards for student participation by teaching, inspiring and insisting upon clear and concise communication skills, both verbal and written.
  4. Relevance in Teaching:
    1. Ability to relate course content to help students better understand, interpret and evaluate current events and challenging issues.
    2. Ability to relate course content and the classroom experience to potential career options—either in a general way or to individual student interests, as may be possible.
  5. Learning Evaluation:
    1. Administering a reasonable number of tests, writing assignments, and other projects to get a full picture of student abilities.
    2. Formulating tests, writing assignments, and other projects that correspond to course objectives.
    3. Providing students with clear understanding of the methods and standards of evaluation of their academic progress.
    4. Giving equal weight to insight as well as knowledge in evaluating learning.
  6. Personal Relations:
    1. Good personal traits – as evidenced by:
      1. A sense of humor consistent with dignity inherent in the profession;
      2. Enthusiasm that is sincere;
      3. Being generous, rather than restricted and critical, in appraisal of motives and behavior of other persons;
      4. Consistency in personality;
      5. Demonstrating the quality of humility. interaction traits – as evidenced by:
      6. Being readily available to students, 
      7. Approachability regarding academic concerns.
    2. Impact on students’ academic success and their post-graduation career success, as evidenced in feedback by the alumni and their employers.