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By Heidi Butler
November 19, 2009
A professor from Northampton Community College was one of 38 college and university faculty members from colleges and universities across the United States honored in Washington, DC, on November 19 by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education.
Dr. Vasiliki Anastasakos was named the Pennsylvania Professor of the Year at a luncheon recognizing faculty members who excel in teaching and who positively influence the lives and careers of students. She later was a guest of honor at a congressional reception hosted by Phi Beta Kappa.
She and the other honorees were selected from nominees from public and private colleges and universities all over the country on the basis of their impact on and involvement with undergraduate students; scholarly approach to teaching and learning; contributions to undergraduate education ; and support from colleagues and current and former undergraduate students.
Known as "Kiki" to her students and colleagues, Dr. Anastasakos has been a member of the Northampton Community College faculty since 2003. Since she began teaching at NCC students have flocked to her courses from the "Introduction to Political Science" to more advanced classes in American National Government, State and Local Government, International Relations, Women and Politics, and Politics of Modern Turkey.
Students use phrases like "walking encyclopedia" and "modern-day Eleanor Roosevelt" to describe her brilliance, her compassion and her "ability to open students' eyes to the issues affecting our world today."
They also describe her as "a cheerleader for every single student, pushing them to succeed" and making them "feel like a superstar."
Dr. Anastasakos is held in equally high regard by her colleagues, who admire her ability to engage students through "discussion, group work, class presentations, instructional technology and service learning, "as well as her "generosity" in working collaboratively with other teachers and scholars.
Dr. Philip Vilardo of Howard Community College in Maryland, who team taught with Dr. Anastasakos in an international exchange program, and observed, "Kiki is the kind of academic/scholar who is critically engaged in questioning and examining the world she lives in at all times; and for her students to be drawn into her orbit means for them to drink up that same critical curiosity. For Kiki, every moment is a teachable moment."
Dr. Anastasakos holds a B.A. in government and politics and an M.A. in international relations from the University of Maryland. She earned her Ph.D. in political science at Temple University. She is a member of the American Political Science Association, the Association for the Study of German Politics, Women in International Security, and the Peace & Justice Studies Association.