Whether it's face-to-face or online, Rowan College at Gloucester County (RCGC) Associate Professor Jessica Jolly is totally psyched when it comes to teaching.
Jolly's enthusiasm and expertise as a psychology instructor was so noticeable to her peers and the college administration, she was named this year's recipient of the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation Award for Distinguished Teaching. The award, one of the College's highest honors, is funded by grants from the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation in Philadelphia and recognizes outstanding teachers at 52 colleges and universities within the Abbotts Dairies service area throughout New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware and Virginia. Full-time faculty, who "demonstrate excellence in teaching," are selected by a nominating committee comprised of the four most recent RCGC Lindback recipients as well as the vice president of academic services.
Receiving the Lindback Award came as a surprise to the Lawrence Township resident, who was presented with the recognition during the commencement ceremony in May. Although an earlier conversation with RCGC Vice President of Academics Dr. Linda Hurlburt revealed Jolly had been selected the College's 2017 Distinguished Teacher of the Year, when she was asked to remain on stage for a second award, she was bewildered.
"I was completely confused when Dr. Hurlburt said there was a surprise for me and I was being honored with the Lindback Award," said Jolly. "I cannot express my gratitude and appreciation for being chosen out of so many other hard-working and deserving faculty members. It is a privilege to work at RCGC with the many wonderful and gifted students and staff. I feel truly lucky to have my position at the college, and I look forward to continuing to serve in my role as a faculty member for our community."
"The college receives the Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award only once every three years. The award is supposed to be a surprise, so I had to find a way to let Jessica know she would be on the platform without giving away that she was receiving the Lindback Award," stated Hurlburt. "Jessica is so dedicated to the students. You see her working with them in the classroom, in her office, in the hallways, just about anywhere you look. Her enthusiasm for education is obvious and she's an excellent role model for the students."
While teaching an average of seven courses a semester enlightening students on the study of behavior and the human mind, Jolly has also served as the psychology coordinator at the College since being hired in 2009. In September, she will become the department chair of the Social Sciences and Humanities Division, which will include psychology, sociology and other related areas. When not in the classroom, Jolly stays busy at the college volunteering for a number of committees and in the fall begins her fourth year as the faculty representative to the Board of Trustees. Last year, she received the Faculty Association Award, a union award presented during their annual dinner.
"I try to get involved with as much as I am able. My life is basically the college," laughed Jolly.
"Being selected the recipient of the 2017 Lindback Award for distinguished teaching is a reflection of the respect that Jessica's peers have for her and the quality of her work. She is actively involved within the college community and committed to the success of her students," stated Rowan College at Gloucester County President Frederick Keating.
For more information about RCGC's Psychology program, visit RCGC.edu/LiberalArts.
Rowan College at Gloucester County's 250-acre campus is located on Tanyard Road in Deptford, just off Exit 56 of Route 55.