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    Economics Professor Recognized for Going Above and Beyond

    Jun 23, 2011

    Dr. Farley StaniecTo receive the College of the Pacific Spanos Award, it is not enough to be an outstanding professor. This high honor is saved for one "who has gone beyond teaching in the classroom through activities such as advising, directing research, and mentoring students and new faculty members." Dr. Farley Staniec is one such teacher.

    Though her high achievements merit distinguished titles like professor, economist, and researcher, Dr. Staniec proudly proclaims herself, first and foremost, a teacher. As she explains,  "At my core, that's what I am."

    Her passion for economics is apparent every day in the classroom, and she excels in the field of academic research, but Dr. Staniec's main concern is not "preaching to the converted" economics graduate students. Rather, she says:

    “I want to be the person who introduces a student to economics the very first time. The one who helps them learn how the economic way of thinking can be relevant and useful in so many aspects of their lives, even for students who may never take another econ class. And, for students who may have the interest and ability to go further, I want to be the one who turns on the light for them.”

    It is this kind of devotion to her students that separates Dr. Staniec as the deserving recipient of the Spanos Award. Going above and beyond the role of a professor, Dr. Staniec functions as mentor and guide for those she teaches—economic majors and non-majors alike. One student, after having Dr. Staniec for a semester, explains:

    “What distinguishes Professor Staniec from other great professors is that she not only cares a lot about the subject she is teaching and how well she is doing it, but she also cares about the well-being of her students and our understanding and interest of the subject.”

    Other students have shared that there is even more to learn from Dr. Staniec than the facts and figures of economics. One of her advisees explains that, with Dr. Staniec, economics is where "powerful ideas and theories are formed to pair with future decision makers and leaders," and this leadership is demonstrated by Dr. Staniec through her unfailing honesty and "incredible moral system." It is put most clearly when this student concludes "Professor Staniec will make you a better leader because not only does she teach superbly; she is a superb human being."

    A woman of many talents and honors, Dr. Staniec chooses to remain devoted to her students. She understands the importance of teaching, leading, and guiding her students to achieve their fullest potential, and she reflects:

    Dr. Farley Staniec

    “Some days all that effort may make no difference at all. Some days, for some students, it really, really matters. But from my perspective, I often never know, and never will know, which type of day it is. These instances of unacknowledged impact may not be the glory moments of the job, but they're why it's so important to me to remember, every day, the influence I may be having and why I chose to be a teacher.”

    Looking at the way her teaching has influenced her students, it is clear that "all that effort" Dr. Staniec puts forward has truly made a difference, and it gives the College of the Pacific great pride to honor her with this year's College of Pacific Spanos Award.

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