BMCC Distinguished Teaching Award

The Distinguished Teaching Award winners for 2020 are Cara O’Connor Assistant Professor of Social Sciences (tenure track);Kimora, adjunct professor in Social Sciences; Joel Barker, Professor of Accounting (tenured); and Jae Ki Lee, Professor of Mathematics (tenured).

The Distinguished Teaching Award winners for 2020 are (from left to right) Cara O’Connor Assistant Professor of Social Sciences (tenure track); Kimora, adjunct professor in Social Sciences; Joel Barker, Professor of Accounting (tenured); and Jae Ki Lee, Professor of Mathematics (tenured). 

BMCC has some of the hardest working, innovative, and engaging faculty in the CUNY system. While BMCC is committed to promoting and recognizing excellence in teaching and learning year round, once a year there is an opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of our faculty who excel in the classroom. The BMCC Distinguished Teaching Award recognizes faculty whose sustained excellence in teaching incites intellectual curiosity in students, inspires colleagues both within and outside their department, and demonstrates effective and innovative pedagogy.

Annual award winners






All faculty nominated for the award must have maintained a consistent record of outstanding teaching performance and have demonstrated an ongoing commitment to student success.  Faculty eligible for nomination/application include: full-time tenured faculty, full-time tenure track faculty; full-time lecturers, and adjunct faculty with ten or more semesters of teaching at BMCC.  Faculty can receive only one Distinguished Teaching Award during their time at BMCC.

Selection Criteria

In general, Distinguished Teachers will excel in a combination of the following areas:

  • Ability to inspire, guide, and mentor students.
  • A record of outstanding teaching effectiveness as evidenced by student testimonials and peer observations.
  • Pedagogical approaches that are engaging, innovative, and intellectually rigorous and reflective of current trends in the field.
  • Effective service as a mentor, collaborator, and/or consultant to faculty.

Application Process

Any member of the BMCC community, including students, may nominate an eligible faculty; nominations must be forwarded to the faculty member and his/her department chair.  Nominees must inform their chair as to whether or not they will complete an application package as described below.  Faculty may nominate themselves and must notify their chair as such.

The deadline for nominations for the 2020 Award is February 10, 2020. Those nominated by others will be notified in mid-February.

The application process for 2020 has been postponed. The deadline for applications will be October 1, 2020.

The nominee is responsible for assembling a complete application package, which must include:

  • A cover sheet that includes name; rank; department; date of hire for full-time faculty; semesters taught for adjunct faculty; and a statement of consent for Selection Committee to review BMCC student evaluations of teaching on file. The cover sheet is here: Distinguished Teaching Award – cover sheet
  • A personal statement of no more than four pages that includes name of discipline, teaching philosophy and pedagogy, and addresses how the nominee meets the selection criteria as detailed above.This statement may include descriptions of student assignments or projects, assessment instruments, and documentation of student learning.
  • A current CV.
  • Peer observations.
  • Three letters of reference, including two from former students and one from a peer; letters must be collected by the nominee and included in the application package.

Nominees must submit complete application packages electronically to:  Incomplete applications will not be considered.


Selection Process and Nature of Awards

Application packages will be reviewed by an ad hoc faculty committee established in the Academic Senate, and including the Associate Dean of Faculty. The committee will be chaired by a faculty member from the Academic Senate.

Up to four awards will be made annually. The Committee will recommend award recipients to the President, who will make the final determination of Distinguished Teaching Awards for the year. Recipients will be notified in mid-April.

A Celebration of Teaching to honor recipients and finalists will be held on in the Fall of 2020.

Distinguished Teachers will be featured in BMCC news stories. Applicants who are not selected for awards are eligible to re-apply in future years.