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The Gregory Adamian Award for Teaching Excellence


Richard Cleary, Mathematics (full-time)


Jennifer Cook, English (full-time)

John "Jack" Dempsey, English (part-time)


George Fishman, Natural and Applied Sciences (full-time)

William Starner, Management (part-time)


Clifford Putney, History (full-time)

Professor Putney was the overwhelming first choice of the committee for the 2008 Adamian Award because of the multiple nominations submitted by students, alumni and faculty.  All noted the clarity of Professor Putney’s explanations, his patience in the classroom, and his dedication to his students. This latter point transcends the classroom, for several students felt that Professor Putney’s willingness to work with them in a variety of settings was instrumental in their achieving a command of the concepts of history.  Also noted on several nominations was his skill at getting students involved. The old adage “involve me and I shall learn” seemed to work well in all of Professor Putney’s classes. And, many students made special comments about his fairness in dealing with students.


Jay C. Thibodeau, Accountancy (full-time)

Professor Thibodeau received multiple nominations from students at all levels. They noted that  he is genuinely passionate about everything he does.  He truly believes that Bentley has the best students and that they deserve every possible opportunity. One student stated that: “Professor Thibodeau is by far the best professor I have ever had the privilege of learning from.  Not only is he excited by the subject and art of accounting, but he has this amazing ability to get even those students with minimal interest excited and enthralled by the material they are learning in his class.” He is kind, knowledgeable, fair, honest, and most importantly, enthusiastic. By using real life examples to make explanation of accounting issues clearer, he provides an absolute advantage to the learning process. 

R. Gilbert Congdon, Mathematical Sciences (part-time)

Professor Congdon not only teaches students how to solve math problems, but why it is important to learn the relevant business applications. He is always eager to help students with problems and answers every question until it is clear that the student understands.  He is never truly satisfied until everyone in the class is comfortable with the material.  Thus, his students know that they are learning valuable and applicable lessons while having fun at the same time; Professor Congdon is noted for his sense of humor.


Mahendra R. Gujarathi, Accountancy (full-time)

Professor Mahendra Gujarathi was nominated for the Adamian Award by undergraduate and graduate students, alumni, faculty, and administration. All groups were very consistent in telling the same story: He is a true master teacher. He cares deeply about his students and the topics that he teaches while challenging the students to do their best, he motivates the students to get involved and participate actively, he is able to transfer his enthusiasm to others, and he has an ability to communicate difficult concepts in a way that not only helps students understand the concepts but also builds a context for future learning. A graduate student wrote about Professor Gujarathi: “In my time at Bentley, I have not seen a more compassionate, intellectually stimulating, or passionate professor than Mahendra Gujarathi. [He] is everything a student can desire in a teacher.” He is continuously looking for new ways to help students reach their full potential, as one of his colleagues eloquently testified: “Professor Gujarathi is a colleague who has distinguished himself as a superb teacher with an uncompromising commitment to educating our student to their fullest potential.” In addition, he is a leader who willingly supports other faculty members and helps them to reach new levels of accomplishment as teachers.


Jo Trigilio, Philosophy (full-time)

Professor Jo Trigilio genuinely cares about her students, challenges them to do their very best, and demonstrates to them why Philosophy matters and makes a difference in everyday life. She is passionate about what she teaches and capable of sharing her passion with her students, and she encourages her students to go intellectually into areas than they had not been willing or able to explore earlier. She is ready to invest her time and energy to create an intellectually stimulating learning environment in which her students are motivated to work hard. One student recommending Professor Trigilio for this award stated: “She is determined to make each and every one of her students realize the incredible things they can do with their education, determination, and heart.” This award also recognizes her significant contributions to the Women's Center and the Gender Studies Program at Bentley as an intellectual leader and a highly supportive adviser.


Erl Sorensen, Mathematical Sciences (full-time)

Professor Erl Sorensen is a dedicated teacher who is truly devoted to his students. He has a unique ability to help students understand and become interested in a challenging subject area. He has a sincere, personal desire concerning his students’ education and learning. An experienced colleague stated when nominating Professor Sorensen for this award: “Erl is the best educator I have ever seen.” He does not only focus on mathematics but he sees every student as a whole person. In a nomination a student stated: “What makes Professor Sorensen most spectacular is that he cares. He cared and continues to care, not only about my academic work, but also abut my well being and future.” Hiss dedication to his students, mastery of his subject area, and ability to help students reach their true potential in mathematical sciences and critical thinking are just a few of the many characteristics that make him an outstanding teacher and an exemplary faculty member at Bentley College.