Being considered among the top 300 professors in the country would be quite a feat.
But that is exactly what Harpur College faculty members Mary Haupt and Jennifer Wegmann did according to the Princeton Review’s new guidebook, “The Best 300 Professors,” which was released in April 2012.
The Princeton Review teamed up with RateMyProfessors.com to create a book profiling the top undergraduate teachers in the U.S. The ratings are based on student reviews and annual surveys conducted by both the website and the Princeton Review.
Mary Haupt, a lecturer in the Department of English who has been teaching journalism at Binghamton University for 28 years, says the most rewarding part of being recognized as a top teacher is the knowledge that she has a positive impact on her students.
“I try to connect with students on some level,” Haupt says.
Alex Trotta ’12 took three classes with Haupt. He says she has made a difference not only in his writing, but also in his professional and personal life.
“Mary is genuinely interested in what we’re pursuing outside of class,” Trotta says. She always has helpful advice or some connections that she can forward to us.”
Haupt’s goal is to help young writers learn how to connect with an audience.
“I want them to experiment with voice, which is why I have them do a blog project,” she says. “I feel like I’m meeting students all over again when I read their blogs.”
The same passion that Haupt sees in her students’ blogs, her students see in her teaching.
“I knew Mary enjoyed her profession and teaching it to her students,” Trotta says. “I really saw how passionate she was about what she did. She brought that to class and it made the rest of us excited about it as well.”
Another passionate instructor is Health and Physical Education Lecturer Jennifer Wegmann.
“Jennifer stood out from my very first day of class,” says Ashley Edelsberg ’12, an integrative neuroscience major who took Wegmann’s nutrition class. “She exudes endless warmth and compassion toward her students as well as great dedication to the course material she teaches.”
Wegmann, who has been teaching at Binghamton for 17 years, says she can relate to her students in a unique way because she received her bachelor’s degree in biology and her master’s in social science from Binghamton.
“I do have a connection with my students,” Wegmann says. “I think I can relate on a realistic level.”
Wegmann teaches classes such as Nutrition and Love Thyself that focus on body image and eating disorders.
“It goes so beyond just teaching. Students feel comfortable to come and talk to me and seek my help,” she says.
— Grace Guy
Last Updated: 12/10/14