Educators have been honored at NDSU with the Distinguished Educator Award since 1969
The Blue Key Honor Society has recently awarded professor Adnan Akyüz with the Distinguished Educator award. Akyüz is a North Dakota State Climatologist and has been a professor since 2007.
“Adnan goes above and beyond simply teaching his students. He connects with them, and cares for them,” Billie Lentz, a Blue Key Member and former student of Akyüz said. “He not only dives into his passions in an energetic way, but he has the ability to enhance every student’s experience simply by caring for them on an individual basis.”
Akyüz ensures any student can learn about the topics he teaches. “I remember in my Meteorology and Climatology class I took with him, he would have ‘BFF Fridays’ in which we were allowed to bring friends along to class so they could also learn about our subject.”
Lentz explained that Akyüz even makes sure students stay connected outside the classroom as well. Akyüz and his students have a secret signal so if they see each other around campus, they’re able to make the signal and Akyüz will know they’re one of his students.
“I once gave the ‘Climate’ signal to him on campus, and he instantly lit up with excitement about seeing one of his students.”
Lentz went on to express the appreciation Akyüz has for teaching and for his students. “His passion for the work he does truly shines through with everything he does and he recognizes the importance of making lasting connections with students along the way.”
Akyüz is also a current member of the Standing Committee on Climate Services Expert Teams with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
The Blue Key Distinguished Educator Award was created in 1969 and honors outstanding educators at NDSU who make everlasting differences. The educators must exhibit qualities such as helping students above what is required.
Taylor Bengtson, the president of the Blue Key Honor Society explained “This award is meant to honor educators who not only impact students in the classroom, but our campus as a whole.”
The names of educators who’ve been honored in the past are still seen on campus. Catherine Cater who won the award in 1998 has Cater Hall named after her.
Honorees for the Distinguished Educator Award are selected by the Blue Key Honor Society after a nomination and selection process which Bengston said is “strictly student decided,” and takes about a month. The honoree doesn’t know about their nomination until they are presented with the award.