Teresa Wins Award After Being Nominated by Students
August 2, 2018
By Pamela Stallsmith
Benjamin Teresa, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Wilder School’s Urban and Regional Studies and Planning program, is this year’s Virginia Commonwealth University’s faculty winner of the American Planning Association-Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award.
Every year, APA-VA recognizes the best planning faculty in Virginia by awarding one faculty member at each of the three Virginia schools with accredited planning programs—VCU, the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech. The association reaches out to the leadership of each school’s student planning organization for nominations.
“VCU’s students noted your support and availability to students, your championship of their ideas, the thoughtful feedback and recommendations they receive from you, and your eagerness to learn new topics and bring them to the classroom to enhance your students’ overall experience,” the APA wrote Teresa. Students called Teresa “the biggest supporter of the students and the student associations.”
Teresa said he was not just honored by the award, but also by being nominated by the students with whom he works.
“When I was a student I had professors and mentors who guided my career trajectory and shaped how I look at urban planning problems,” he said. “They are folks who quite literally changed my life. Now as a professor I consciously try to be that kind of mentor to my students, and so it's always nice to know how students feel about it.”
Teresa was recognized at the chapter’s annual conference, which took place at Wintergreen July 23-25.
“Ben’s dedication to our students is evident, and I am so pleased that he is being recognized for his commitment to teaching,” said Meghan Gough, Ph.D., chair of the Wilder School’s Urban and Regional Studies and Planning program. “This award is well deserved.”