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Calhoun is named 2017 Faculty Outstanding Advocate for First-Year Students

Daniel Calhoun, Ph.D.

College of Education Associate Professor Daniel Calhoun, Ph.D., was named Georgia Southern University’s 2017 First-Year Experience Outstanding Faculty Advocate during a presentation on April 28.

The award, presented by the First-Year Experience (FYE) program, annually recognizes excellence in the teaching and mentoring of first-year students.

Calhoun serves as the coordinator of the master’s in higher education administration program, as well as a faculty member in the higher education administration the doctoral program, and he regularly teaches first year experience courses on the topic of exploring leadership.

“As someone who prepares educational leaders and served as a higher education administrator for many years, teaching FYE courses has been an extremely rewarding experience,” said Calhoun. “In my primary role as an educator of higher education leaders, it is important for me to stay current on the pulse of today’s college students so I can better prepare my doctoral and master’s students. Teaching FYE courses has allowed me to do that, while fulfilling my desire to continue to work with undergraduate students at a critical time in their development.”  

Nominated by five of his former FYE students, many commented on Calhoun’s active participation with the class as well his care and compassion for students.

“Group discussions were always a big part of class, and it was obvious that he greatly valued each student’s opinion,” stated undergraduate student Ashlyn Taliaferro. “Dr. Dan still keeps in touch with all his past students and opens his office for any student in need of help. Finding a teacher better than him will be very difficult to do.”

Many of the students also commented on Calhoun’s invested interest in developing students’ character as well as their academics.

“His lessons on leadership really let students take a step back from academics and focus also on their development,” said Morgan Stokes, an undergraduate student. “I think he got to show these first year students college isn’t just coming to college–it’s coming to start a whole new journey where opportunity is at your fingertips if you’re just willing to step out and take it.”

Calhoun was one of 35 nominated faculty members for this year’s award. The First-Year Experience Advisory Council selects the recipient, who receives a plaque and the opportunity to travel to an FYE or other professional conference. The awards are sponsored by First-Year Experience and Phi Eta Sigma, the first-year student honor society.

“While it was humbling to be the recipient of this award, what I really loved was reading the nomination letters from my students,” said Calhoun. “Hearing from them that what I did made an impact is the best reward I could have received.”

Calhoun is a faculty member in the College’s Department of Leadership, Technology, and Human Development.

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