Prof awarded for personal approach

By Katie Valentine, Staff Writer

Students from the LDS Institute of Religion awarded professor Randall Boyle the Excellence in Education Award for his charming nature and individual attention to students in the classroom.

Tyler Carruth, a senior in finance, remembered his first class with Boyle, a professor in operations and information systems. Boyle promised the class he would know the names of all students in the class by the end of the week. When some of the students shrugged their shoulders in doubt, Boyle shocked them by already knowing their names.

The Latter-day Saint Student Association gives out the award each year to a professor at the U who has made a positive impact on students. There were more than 500 nominations this year, and a committee narrowed down the list to three professors before choosing Boyle. Students at the LDS Institute submit the nominations.

“He cares about his students above and beyond his job description,” said Grant Hansen, a senior in business information systems. “Someone I look up to knows my name.”

LDSSA student leaders were also impressed by the effect Boyle has on students.

Mike Query, student director of campus relations for LDSSA, sat at a table promoting the award and encouraging students to nominate professors. Everyone who talked about Boyle to Query described the connection they have with him on a personal level.

Query said it is nice to see how much students respect this professor. He said some students told him they changed their degree of study because of a class they had with Boyle.

Boyle said he learned the importance of knowing people’s names from his father, James Boyle. He noticed his father learned the name of every person with whom he did business, a lesson Boyle took with him to the classroom.

“There’s nothing sweeter to a person’s ears than the sound of their own name,” Boyle said, quoting his father.

He memorizes the name of every student he has taught even before entering the classroom. He started this practice at Florida State University and continued to learn students’ names when he taught at the University of Alabama-Huntsville. Boyle said it takes him a day and a half to learn the names of students for four of his classes.

Courtney Boyle, his wife, said he is always personable and recognizes people around him. Boyle learns and uses the names of people they meet, such as waiters, she said.

The award started in 2004 and students took nominations for professors during the end of January. Other recipients of this award have been Dan Jones, Mark Nielson, Glenn Richardson and Gregory Owens.

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