In 2011, Furman Undergraduate Evening Studies (UES) created the annual Outstanding UES Faculty Award to honor a faculty member who has supported students through outstanding teaching, service, and dedication to improving and building the UES program. Professor Melissa Ranhofer was chosen this year based on student feedback and her contribution to launching the environmental studies minor in UES, the first minor to be offered in the program’s 60-year history.
Students recount how much Ranhofer’s class changed not only their thinking, but their actions as they relate to the planet. “I wish we had more professors like her,” one said. “She has made me more aware of global problems and how all of us need to contribute, even in small ways to leaving the planet in better condition for the future.”
Others cite the relevance of her classes, and her student support. “What I liked most in this class were the real world topics she included—topics we could relate to and understand. She was easy to contact and very helpful. She was accommodating when situations came up and helpful to work around them, so class information was not missed. She treated every student the same. She always did whatever she could to help out.”
Even though environmental science is a complex subject, another student observed that, “she has a unique, organized way of putting environmental science details into a logical format that pushed and challenged us to learn. She has made me look at things in a whole new light.”
Said UES Director Beth Crews, “Dr. Ranhofer is always prepared, making sure to document everything, state expectations clearly, and grade rigorously and fairly. She puts her heart into every student. We are tremendously fortunate to have her as an instructor for the program.”