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Free Lance-Star reporter Amy Umble covers Stafford County schools and other education issues

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UMW professors named ‘the best’

Princeton Review’s top professors from left to right: Jeffrey McClurken (standing), Steve Watkins (seated), Beverly Almond, Gregg Stull (standing), Miriam Liss, Dan Hubbard (standing) and Warren Rochelle.

Seven University of Mary Washington professors have been named to the Princeton Review’s inaugural publication of “Best 300 Professors.”

The list of best professors features 300 teaching faculty members from 122 public and private colleges and universities.

Profiled in the publication are Beverly Almond, adjunct professor of English; Dan Hubbard, associate professor and chair of accounting and management information systems; Miriam Liss, associate professor of psychology; Jeffrey McClurken, associate professor and chair of history; Warren Rochelle, professor of English; Gregg Stull, professor and chair of theatre; and Steve Watkins, professor of English.

The Princeton Review partnered with MTV to choose “challenging and inspiring” educators from across the U.S. The publication is available in bookstores.

President Richard Hurley said:

“We are thrilled to have seven professors recognized among the top in the nation. Our more than 350 talented and dedicated master teachers inspire our students daily, and their work in and out of the classroom underscores the university’s commitment to be the best public liberal arts and sciences university in the country.”

UMW’s professors are among 31 faculty from five Virginia colleges and universities, including the College of William & Mary, James Madison University, University of Richmond and Sweet Briar College. For the full list of professors, click here.

Here are more details about the award-winning professors:

Beverly Almond

In her 10 years at Mary Washington, Beverly Almond has taught countless students in art, Biblical, Appalachian and folklore literature. According to the Princeton Review: “Almond lets students take the lead. Instead of telling them the significance of a composition, Almond prefers they discover it for themselves.”

Dan Hubbard

 Dan Hubbard, a registered certified public accountant, has taught accounting at Mary Washington for more than a decade. According to the Princeton Review: “Every student is a ‘class of one’ for Professor Hubbard, who provides students with ‘a mirror of their own capacity.’ His approach is Socratic and student-centered; he rarely uses a textbook, but asks lots of open-ended questions.”

Miriam Liss

A licensed clinical psychologist, Miriam Liss’ research focuses on autism, developmental disorders and gender issues. She received the UMW Outstanding Young Faculty Member Award in 2005 and was a finalist in the SCHEV state award in 2006 and 2009. According to the Princeton Review: “She is a widely published author and has published with many undergraduate students who have worked with her on individual research projects, one of her proudest achievements.”

Jeffrey McClurken

 Jeffrey McClurken, the recipient of the Mary Washington Young Alumnus Award in 2003, teaches courses in 19th-century American social and cultural history, technology, gender studies and digital history. He is the author of “Take Care of the Living: Reconstructing Confederate Veteran Families in Virginia.” According to the Princeton Review: “His approach to teaching is both classical and modernist, ‘grounded in the importance of historical inquiry, the multidisciplinary nature of the liberal arts, and…key related beliefs.’ He works to involve students in classes as participants, leaders, and fellow learners, and believes that technology can play a key role in enhancing traditional pedagogical practices.”

Warren Rochelle

Warren Rochelle, coordinator of the creative writing concentration and an expert on science fiction and fantasy, is the author of several novels, including most recently “The Called.” According to the Princeton Review: “His creative writing classes cover a variety of different types of fiction, including fantasy, science fiction and short stories, and he starts each semester by asking people to write about their name and what it means. He emphasizes learning the ability to critique something constructively, and developing a technique and voice.”

Gregg Stull

Gregg Stull, an expert on funding, policy and First Amendment issues involving the arts, has received UMW’s Grellet C. Simpson Award, the Mary W. Pinschmidt Award and the UMW Alumni Association Outstanding Young Faculty Member Award. According to the Princeton Review: “His greater plan for students is to imbue them with a curiosity about the world, so that they will be ‘willing to wrestle with the challenging questions that are a part of being alive’.”

Steve Watkins

Steve Watkins is a recipient of a 2011-2012 Artist Fellowship from the Virginia Commission for the Arts. His books have won numerous awards, including the 2009 Golden Kite Award for Fiction from the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators for “Down Sand Mountain.” According to the Princeton Review: “This straight-shooting teacher of 28 years, author of several award-winning and critically acclaimed works of both fiction and non-fiction, loves to find the interesting in people and to bring his own to the table.”

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