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Many things can make college interesting, from club sports to fraternities. But it’s the professors that truly make going to school worthwhile. Both universities and their students rely on knowledgeable professors to engage the next generation of thinkers and help them earn a meaningful education. Without their knowledge, passion, and experience, students wouldn’t excel — in school or in their careers. The best professors in the world truly leave their mark.
With great power comes great responsibility, and the best professors in the world have learned to embrace both. Here are just a few top educators who understood the assignment and are currently thriving as renowned college instructors.
1. Douglas Klutz, University of Alabama
If you’re interested in criminal justice, you’ve likely heard of Douglas Klutz. This University of Alabama criminal justice professor is a favorite on Rate My Professor, having earned the number one spot back in 2020. Forbes, CEOWorld Magazine, and Best Value Schools have also rated Klutz number one professor in the country, and it’s easy to see why.
Klutz is a master in his field and specializes in career building. A professor for more than a decade, he knows how to help students find a career in criminal justice, despite all the misinformation out there.
2. Iain Murray, Curtin University
Australia’s Curtin University is home to a host of highly regarded professors, including one Iain Murray. This professor is currently employed as the Curriculum Lead in Curtin University’s School of Electrical Engineering, Computing, and Mathematical Sciences. However, Murray’s passion for teaching and research often extends beyond the classroom.
In 2001, Murray established the Cisco Academy for the Vision Impaired, which now includes nearly 300 students from partner organizations all over the world. The program focuses on equipping students with the skills they need to succeed in the technology sector.
3. Rona Miles, Brooklyn College
Professor Rona Miles has also garnered praise and high rankings on Rate My Professor. A licensed psychologist, Miles has received a 4.9 out of 5 rating on the site and has been with Brooklyn College for the past 22 years. She teaches various classes, including Counseling, Psychology, and Psychopathology at both undergraduate and graduate levels.
Miles has also won the Brooklyn College’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and the 2021 Award for Outstanding Graduate Student Mentoring. Both colleagues and students have plenty of positive things to say about her engaging lectures and empowering teaching style.
4. Joel Gogwim, University of Jos
Teachers and professors often shape the course of history, and Joel Gogwim is no exception. The Nigerian educator was born in Dungung, a small farm village in the east-central part of the country. Despite being born into an underserved community, Gogwim defeated all odds and earned himself an education.
Today he serves as the deputy director of Information and Communications Technology at the University of Jos, Nigeria, and is a major source of inspiration and leadership for his students. Like the many educators who came before him, Gogwim is an advocate for disadvantaged and underresourced communities. By leveraging the power of the internet, this professor has brought education to hundreds of underprivileged students and communities.
5. Temple Grandin, Colorado State University
Temple Grandin is one of the world’s most renowned experts on two very important subjects: autism and animal welfare. A professor at Colorado State University, Grandin has used her condition, being on the autism spectrum, as a force for good.
Even as a student, she was inventing devices like the hug box to calm hypersensitive people. Now, she uses the same concept of deep pressure to promote animal welfare within the livestock industry. You can see her influence in a number of areas at modern feedlots, including livestock serpentines and high-walled cattle chutes.
6. Vijay Govindarajan, Dartmouth College
Known by his students as VG, Vijay Govindajaran is a leading expert on strategy and innovation and currently teaches at Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business. Govindajaran is also a former Marvin Bower Fellow at Harvard Business School and a two-time winner of the prestigious McKinsey Award for the best article published in Harvard Business Review.
In addition to his many awards and accolades, the professor has also pioneered the concept of reverse innovation with an emphasis on execution. His fervor and passion have earned him a number one spot in the hearts of Dartmouth students. In fact, he’s even won Outstanding Teacher of the Year, thanks to votes from his pupils.
Inspiring the Next Generation
Professors have a unique opportunity — and a tremendous responsibility — to inspire the next generation of thinkers. As a learner and teachers themselves, it’s their duty to empower students and pass a bit of their passion along, too. While they might not be as renowned or famous as the professors above, their work is just as important, if not more so. Who knows how many individuals they might inspire and the change they might create simply by sharing their knowledge with the world?