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The Gregory Adamian Award for Teaching Excellence


Charles Hadlock, Trustee Professor Mathematical Sciences 

Professor Hadlock serves as a role model and has great influence on his students, both in and out of the classroom.  He is known as a very demanding educator who goes the 'extra mile' to help students exceed their own expectations. He asks his students to think about mathematical applications in diferent ways - sharing ideas as challenging problems - which lead to spirited class discussions. He explains complex concepts in a non-technical language that make it accessible to all students, stressing that mathematics is just not about solving equations, but is also about identifying common features and describing them, in a way that helps everyone understand their essence ... And all his classroom work is complemented by his "open door" office policy.


William Schiano, Computer Information Systems (full-time)

William Schiano demonstrates incredible energy and enthusiasm for his subject matter, approaching each class as though it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to shape the lives of his students. He brings experience, knowledge, and passion for the pursuit of excellence into the classroom.One graduate student wrote “Professor Schiano exemplifies the absolute most exquisite in teaching talent I have ever seen in my entire academic career. … [His] commitment to the learning and success of his students is unparalleled, and his professionalism is beyond reproach."

Stephen O'Leary, Accountancy (part-time)

Professor O'Leary's many nominations laud his enthusiasm and dedication to his students, but what stands out is how each highlights his ability to make the difficult material of GB 112 manageable, interesting and easy to remember. As one student wrote, “Professor O’Leary demonstrates what it means to be a Bentley University professor. He shows enthusiasm in his teaching and puts effort into students who seek extra help, making sure that each student understands the material before a student leaves his classroom each day." 


O. David Gulley, Economics (full-time) 

Professor Gulley is attentive and passionate in class and also spends hours outside of classes with students helping them to be the best they can be. He responds to questions with patience and enthusiasm and students note that he encourages a higher level of thinking and consistently challenges their understanding. Dr. Gulley’s dynamic teaching methodology is highlighted by his positive attitude.  His developmental aptitude is reflected in his unique ability to mentor students and challenge them in a manner that appreciates the fine lines between pushing students and overworking them.


Steven J.J. Weisman, JD, Law, Taxation, & Financial Planning (full-time)

Professor Weisman’s students describe him as highly intelligent, motivating and inspiring – an educator who “not only cares about the course content but also teaching his students to be good citizens out in world”. His education mantra is to challenge the way students think and his outstanding achievements in this regard are that his students feel the demand to take what they have learned and apply it to real life scenarios, encouraging them to form opinions and, most importantly, to be prepared to then defend them.


W. Timothy Anderson, Sociology (full-time)

When students talk about Professor Anderson, they use terms like exciting and amazing.  They praise his capacity to teach life lessons through a sociological lens and appreciate his desire to have open discussions of complex issues.  They laud his patience and skill at effective communication, notably when relating stories about his Crow brothers.  This provides both an intellectual as well as a cultural framework for his classes. Dr. Anderson’s pedagogical approach can be summarized in one word:  innovative.  He is a skilled professional who is capable of impacting the lives of his students. Using a number of dramatic and interactive devices, he encourages shy students to speak and garrulous to keep to the point thereby encouraging class participation and building student confidence. Bentley has been fortunate to have such a free thinker for over 30 years who shows such a dedication to his students.


Richard Cleary, Mathematics (full-time)

Students continually praise Professor Cleary for his capacity to relate statistical concepts to real-life situations and for his patience and skill at effective communication.  He draws from the broadest range of current events and creates class problems based on data obtained using the class itself as the sample under consideration.   Students’ interest is held through Dr. Cleary’s infectious enthusiasm and class demonstrations.  Common mistakes from the latter are always analyzed so that students leave understanding statistics at the conceptual level – he displays the gift of getting students to think critically and originally, while ensuring all are respected for their contributions so that there are no ‘walls’ between instructor and students and true learning results.


Jennifer Cook, English (full-time)

Professor Cook has been described as a “life” professor, for enabling students to think critically and originally, and to apply the topics addressed in class to their lives outside of class.  This reinforces in her students their unique worth and the true value of their individual and independent thinking.   As one student noted, “The worst thing is not to have a voice, and Professor Cook helped me to regain mine.”  Her passion and commitment frequently extends far beyond class time as she professionally straddles the line between educator and friend.

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

Professor Dempsey connects with his students on a grand scale.  Not only does he respect and challenge his students, but he forces them to expand beyond their comfort zones and to reach into more difficult and sometimes uncomfortable areas.  He shows a passion and drive for teaching in every single class, helping his students to overcome their fear of public speaking.  So effective is he that typically, after just several weeks of class, students often volunteer to present to the class and to demonstrate the skills they are in the process of developing.  Alumni also comment on how the skill set gained in Professor Dempsey’s class has helped them to ‘stand out’ as young professionals.


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

Professor Fishman’s nominations cite that he epitomizes what a professor should be. Not only does he provide students with enthralling presentations about the intricacies of our solar system, but he is also a mentor and life coach for his students. His passion for teaching and work ethic are remarkable. He ensures that all students are involved in the learning process and creates a true ‘learning environment.’

William Starner, Management (part-time)

Professor Starner is known for providing a high quality classroom experience to his students.  More importantly, it is his sincere interest in the development of his students, both inside and outside of the classroom, which earned him this award. He is an exceptional professor who challenges and influences his students, while simultaneously respecting their thoughts and opinions. His assignments are designed to grow student’s confidence, along with their skill set. He continuously incorporates his own professional experience into his teaching style, while encouraging students to speak about their experiences and relate them to the topic at hand.


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 about my well being and future.” His 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.

Past Recipients

Brigitte W. Muehlmann, Associate Professor of Financial Planning and Taxation
Jane D. Tchaïcha, Adjunct Associate Professor of Modern Languages

J. Douglas Robertson, Professor of Computer Information Systems
Robert Kilbourn, Adjunct Instructor in Sociology

Lynn S. Arenella, Associate Professor of Biology
Angelique M. Davi, Lecturer in English

Stephen D. Lichtenstein, Professor of Law
Amy Curtis-Webber,Adjunct Assistant Professor of English

Joseph J. Newpol, Associate Professor of Taxation
Suzanne Hinton, Adjunct Instructor in Philosophy

Gerald R. Ferrera, Professor of Law

Gul Tejumal Butaney, Professor of Marketing

Joseph F. Byrnes, Professor of Management
Richard C. Frese, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Government

Vicki Van Steenberg LaFarge, Associate Professor of Management
Barbara H. Paul-Emile, Professor of English

William P. Wiggins, Associate Professor of Taxation
David Honick, Adjunct Associate Professor of English

Janet M. Thomas, Associate Professor of Economics
James Ferreira, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Computer Information Systems

David H. Carhart, Associate Professor of Mathematical Sciences
Gregory J. Hall, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychology

Franklin W. Fessenden, Professor of Geology
Thelma Devoe, Adjunct Assistant Professor of English

Richard L. Cross, Associate Professor of Accountancy
Ann E. Lange, Adjunct Professor of Philosophy

Anthony F. Buono, Associate Professor of Management
Raymond J. Levesque, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Accountancy

Dharmendra T. Verma, Professor of Marketing
Thomas Downing,Adjunct Assistant Professor of Finance

Elliott S. Levy, Associate Professor of Accountancy
Karen J. Schroeder, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Quantitative Analysis

Patricia M. Flynn, Associate Professor of Economics
Simeon L. Horvitz,Adjunct Assistant Professor of Law

Aaron J. Nurick, Associate Professor of Management
Harold E. Perkins, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Quantitative Analysis

Richard S. Geehr, Associate Professor of History

E. William Dandes, Professor of Accountancy
Edna Frank, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Quantitative Analysis

John Cole, Professor of Accountancy
Richard Harmer, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Management

William C. Kimball, Associate Professor of Government
John M. Sinclair Adjunct Professor of Management

Rae D. Anderson, Professor of Accountancy
Frank Wolpe, Director of Graduate Tax Program and Professor of Taxation