PARAMUS, N.J. – For the first time, Bergen Community College is home to the state’s U.S. Professor of the Year, as named by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
Professor of English Geoffrey Sadock, Ph.D., of Dumont, topped finalists from the state’s public and private universities and colleges to earn the distinction. He and Bergen Vice President of Academic Affairs William Mullaney, Ph.D., traveled to Washington, D.C. for a Nov. 19 ceremony in the Folger Shakespeare Library on Capitol Hill to accept the award.
“Professor Sadock epitomizes the very definition of a scholar,” Mullaney said. “He has consistently sought to inspire deeper critical thinking in his students and dedicated his life’s work to intellectual pursuits. As such, it remains fitting that Professor Sadock has become the first Bergen educator to earn the title of U.S. Professor of the Year.”
Sadock began teaching as a graduate assistant at Tufts University before securing instructor positions at Brown University and Fairleigh Dickinson University in the 1960s. Bergen hired him in 1972; he achieved the rank of full professor in 1995.
“I’m very grateful for this recognition,” Sadock said. “It confirms me in my vocation and my colleagues who strive to impart humanistic learning. It means somebody is noticing that humanities are still valid in a time when the number of majors has declined.”
In his more than 43 years at the College, Sadock has taught courses such as English Composition, World Literature and Introduction to Shakespeare. In seeking to attract the region’s best students to Bergen, he co-founded the College’s honors program in 1975. The program – now flourishing as the Dr. Judith K. Winn School of Honors – offers small classes, mentoring opportunities and access to the College’s most renowned faculty. Sadock has taught classes in the program since its inception.
In keeping with his goal of creating scholarly outlets for young minds, Sadock has led the Bergen County writing contest for the past 38 years. The program invites submissions from all students attending high school in the county. Winning entries receive publication in the annual Pegasus magazine produced by the College.
Sadock earned a B.A. with honors from Brooklyn College, an M.A. from Tufts and a Ph.D. from Brown. He remains an active member of the N.J. College English Association, the National Association of Scholars and the Victorian Society of America. Previous honors include entry into Princeton University’s Mid-Career Fellowship Program. Sadock has written extensively on religion, literature and the Great Hunger.
The annual U.S. Professors of the Year program recognizes the most outstanding undergraduate instructors in the country – those who excel in teaching and positively influence the lives and careers of students. It remains the only national program to recognize excellence in undergraduate teaching and mentoring. All undergraduate teachers in the United States, of any academic rank at any type of undergraduate institution, are eligible for the award. Entries are judged by top U.S. educators and other active participants in education. The Council for Advancement and Support of Education launched the awards program in 1981. That same year, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching began hosting the final round of judging, and in 1982, became the primary sponsor.
Based in Paramus, Bergen Community College (www.bergen.edu<http://www.bergen.edu>), a public two-year coeducational college, enrolls 16,000 students at locations in Paramus, the Philip Ciarco Jr. Learning Center in Hackensack and Bergen Community College at the Meadowlands in Lyndhurst. The College offers associate degree, certificate and continuing education programs in a variety of fields. More students graduate from Bergen than any other community college in the state.