NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- Dr. Dennis R. Ryan, Professor of Religious Studies and Philosophy at The College of New Rochelle, received the 2015 Distinguished Teaching Award from the American Catholic Historical Association on Saturday, January 3. He was recognized for his dedication and commitment over the past 45 years to the teaching profession. The award was presented during the Historical Association’s annual Presidential Luncheon, held in the Social Hall at St. Paul the Apostle Church in midtown Manhattan.
According to Dr. Richard Thompson, Dean of the School of Arts & Sciences at CNR, "Professor Ryan's classes always fill-up early and to capacity." Thompson noted that "Ryan challenges, enlightens, and delights his students with his teaching style as well as his knowledge. He is a teacher’s teacher, prepared, dedicated, and engaging. His students admire and, yes, love him."
Since 2011, the ACHA has bestowed three distinguished service awards annually for: teaching, scholarship, and contribution to Catholic studies. The Distinguished Teaching Award is presented by the ACHA to a college or university professor who has demonstrated a high commitment to teaching beyond the expected requirements of their position and through their influence and skill have promoted Catholic studies from one generation of scholars to another. Through this award, the ACHA recognizes the importance of creative and effective teaching in the growth of Catholic studies.
The nomination application for Dr. Ryan included student course evaluations that reflected the admiration the students had for this gifted teacher. Students described Dr. Ryan as “an excellent teacher who not only teaches religion but allows you to connect to the subject.” About his classes, students commented: “I always leave his class with something new;” and “I’ve learned more about religion in this class than I have in all my years of studying my own religion.”
Dr. Ryan has taught at The College of New Rochelle for almost 45 years, beginning as an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies in 1971. Over the past four decades, his course offerings have varied from classes that focus on the Religious Experiences of the East, to Morality & Sexuality, Death and the Grieving Process as well as Western Cultural Heritage, and Freshmen Writing.
The American Catholic Historical Association was founded in 1919 to further scholarly research in the field of Catholic history. Presently it funds annual research projects for graduate students and junior faculty in the field of Catholic history. The ACHA also recognizes scholars for their published research by awarding three book prizes in the fields of Catholic history and biography. And it acknowledges the contributions of scholars, teachers, and institutions to the study of Catholicism through its annual Distinguished Awardee presentations.