Loyola professor honored nationally
Published: Friday, May 4, 2012
Updated: Friday, May 4, 2012 14:05
Political science professor Peter Burns almost missed the recognition of his excellence. Six months ago, he received an email from The Princeton Review. Because he is registered on the Princeton University Press email group, he thought he had received another generic email from them and almost completely ignored it.
Burns is listed in the book “The Best 300 Professors,” which is a collaboration between The Princeton Review and RateMyProfessors.com recognizing professors teaching at U.S. universities and colleges for their teaching ability and accessibility, according to a Loyola press release.
The editors selected 42,000 professors based on their ratings on RateMyProfessor.com. From there, they consulted school administrators and students, and the list was slimmed down to 1,000.The editors refined the list to a final 300 and added profiles of the schools and the professors.
Burns thinks his listing benefits Loyola. He said, “I think many professors at Loyola could have made the list. I’m glad to represent the school as a place where if you want professor interaction, there’s no better place to come than Loyola.”
Since Dean of the College of Social Sciences Luis Mirón has been at Loyola, Burns has continued to impress him. Mirón said, “Dr. Burns has the highest student advising numbers in the department of political science.”
Mirón thinks Burns’ listing credits Loyola in an area of importance. Mirón said, “This means that Loyola can nurture people of Dr. Burns’ caliber and weneedtodoitmore.Thisisa call to mentoring.”
Burns appreciates the opportunity he has at Loyola to change people’s lives. He said, “There aren’t a lot of people who have the opportunity that I do: to wake up every day and influence somebody’s life.” Burns said he likes Loyola because of the mission. He said, “I like to engage with the students and Loyola likes me doing that. If I were at some big research institution, they would never want me to engage with the students like this.”
Like Burns, political science senior Will Tuleu appreciates his engagement with the students. Tuleu said, “He’s more engaging than any other professor, he’s really energetic, and he can make the driest stuff interesting.”
Tuleu said he values Burns’ availability and commitment to his students. “He wants to be a part of your life.”
Burns values his role as a Loyola teacher. When Burns gets students engaged in the material, he said he gets a “teaching high.”
“I take all of the features of my favorite professors, what they did in class, how they treated me, what they said and I try to do that with my students,” he said
Burns feels his second most important role is acting as an advisor. He said, “I remember what it was like to have a good advisor, a person who paid attention to you, who cared about you, who looked you in the eye and said you’re going to be something. I can look at some people and say I’ve really made a difference in their lives.”
Political science senior Kristen Lee said Burns has made all the difference in her life. Lee said, “He told me to ignore the voices of self-doubt. He believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. He gave me the gift of self- confidence. He gave me the wings and taught me how to fly.”
Lee said the way Burns has taught her has inspired her to help others. She said, “He has taught me how to be, without saying it. By observing him, I’ve learned how I should treat other people.”
Because of his significance in her life, Lee said, “It’s really special that he’s been selected. There aren’t adequate words to define how important he is to me. He’s my teacher, advisor, mentor, and my biggest cheerleader.”
Burns said he sees potential for greatness in students at Loyola. He said, “Loyola students haven’t heard that they can do great things and they can. We have a lot of students that are diamonds in the rough, those are the ones you can see the influence in.”
Aaren Gordon can be reached at email@example.com