Photo by Liliana Duarte/Viking - Kevin Ryan, LBCC Math professor, was recently awarded the Exceptional Student Success Award by the college. Ryan, who is ambidextrous, was nominated by his students for the award.
Photo by Liliana Duarte/Viking – Kevin Ryan, LBCC Math professor, was recently awarded the Exceptional Student Success Award by the college. Ryan, who is ambidextrous, was nominated by his students for the award.

By Liliana DuarteStaff Writer

Math professor Kevin Ryan has won the Exceptional Student Success Award, an honor created especially for him to recognize his second Student Success Award.

The awards celebrate LBCC employees nominated by students. Each year, students are encouraged to nominate one staff member and one faculty member who have contributed to their success.  Ryan’s students shared positive things about him and his teaching skills.

Claudia Limas, 20, an anthropology major, said she is taking Ryan’s calculus 2 course “for fun.

“He’s awesome as a math professor. He’s really cool. You can ask him anything and he encourages you not to be shy.”

Other students have taken all the courses Ryan has to offer.  Bryan Tomlin is one of those students. Tomlin, 41, a nursing major, has taken four of Ryan’s courses.

Tomlin said, “He’ll take extra time, he’ll stay late and he comes on Sundays for test reviews for like four or five hours. He structures his lectures really well. He challenges us.” A few of his students said he doesn’t just teach, he cares about the students’ success.

Faviolanny Rath, 19, a pre-med psychology major, said, “I really like him. He’s very approachable, cheerful and supportive. He always has a good attitude when he comes to class and a very willing attitude to help and slow down for the class if need be.”

Talking about how long he planned on teaching, Ryan smiled and said, “Until the day I die. I don’t know, until I retire for sure. I hope I never give it up. I was Academic Senate president here at LBCC for a year and a half and it took me partly out of the classroom. I learned a lot doing that, but I didn’t like that it took me out of the classroom.”  He also said that he has “no desire to be an administrator, ever.”

Regarding his students, Ryan said, “When I see in the students’ eyes that they’ve always hated math and when they actually get it and smile. That sort of change in attitude, I absolutely love them smiling.”

He said he learns from his students a lot. “I learn something new all the time. Not just about students, but about myself and better ways to teach, techniques that work, techniques that don’t work. I experiment all the time in class. I’m always trying to get better.

“Being a part of this education career is a huge privilege,” he added.