Eugenia Paulus named one of four U.S. Professors of the Year

Posted: November 20, 2008

Contact: Doug Anderson, doug.anderson@so.mnscu.edu, 651-201-1426

Eugenia Paulus

Release originally published by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching

Washington, D.C. - The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education have named Dr. Eugenia Paulus of North Hennepin Community College as the 2008 U.S. Community Colleges Professor of the Year. She is the only professor from the state of Minnesota to ever receive this national award.

Dr. Paulus has taught chemistry courses at North Hennepin Community College in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota for eight years, preparing students for pre-med, pharmacy, veterinary and many other science-related career fields. She was trained to teach chemistry at larger research universities, but chose to make her career at a community college because, she says, “I want to make a difference at a place where everyone is welcome.”

The U.S. Professor of the Year program, created in 1981, is the only national initiative specifically designed to recognize excellence in undergraduate teaching and mentoring. This year’s U.S. Professors of the Year were selected from a pool of more than 300 nominees. Judges selected one winner in each of four categories - community colleges, baccalaureate colleges, master’s universities and colleges, and doctoral and research universities. Dr. Paulus was selected as the winner for 2008 in the community college category and is the first recipient in any category from the state of Minnesota.

Lee Shulman, president of The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, notes that the professors chosen for this award are “exemplars for all of us in the community of educators.” He says, “They have demonstrated a dedication to their fields and to their profession and have used their own wisdom in ways that motivate and transform their students. They instill both deep understanding and a love of learning, those dual accomplishments to which all fine teachers aspire.”

The 2008 U.S. Professors of the Year are being announced today during an awards ceremony at the Willard InterContinental Washington in Washington, D.C., where Dr. Paulus will speak, following an introduction by one of her former students and fourth-year medical school student at
the University of Michigan, Taj Melson.

Raised in India, Dr. Paulus pursued her education there and in Australia, Scotland and England. “My global perspective helps me understand different learning styles and helps me relate to students from other countries,” she says. North Hennepin Community College in Brooklyn Park attracts students from more than 70 countries.

“Dr. Paulus is an exceptional instructor who has helped transform our science students into student scientists who learn by doing,” says North Hennepin President Ann Wynia. Many of North Hennepin’s science students must take up to four chemistry courses to complete programs such as nursing, biology, pre-engineering, pre-med, medical laboratory technology, non-invasive cardiology technology and chemical technology.

Paulus also teaches upper-division chemistry courses that lead to four-year degrees in biology through Minnesota State University Moorhead and nursing through Metropolitan State University.

What drives her? As Paulus puts it, “personally, I know that my teachers impacted me in the subjects I chose to study, as well as in some choices I made as a human being. Thus, I have a fabulous opportunity and a tremendous responsibility to make a difference in the lives of my students.”


Minnesota's 31 state community and technical colleges, and universities serve more than 430,000 students across the state.