Dr. Colin Swearingen, Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science, is the winner of the 2020 Lucrezia Culicchia Award for Teaching Excellence in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Students and colleagues praised Dr. Swearingen for creating a learning environment that brings the nuances and tensions of the American political system to life. Many commented on the rigor of his courses, as well as a devotion to the material that makes students embrace the challenge. One student wrote, “Dr. Swearingen’s classes are always challenging. I always come out of his classroom feeling that his lesson was worthwhile and that I learned something during class. He is a challenging professor, but he pushes us to work our hardest in order to learn and grow in the topic that is being taught.” Others also reflected on his great care for student learning and development. A colleague noted Dr. Swearingen's transformative influence on students: “His reputation among students as a good listener, organized and knowledgeable advisor, and trusted mentor has been consistent since he arrived on campus." Highlighting these qualities as an educator, one student wrote, “Dr. Swearingen saw something in me that I had not yet seen in myself. He encouraged me to think critically, ask the important questions, and - most importantly - trust in my own knowledge and abilities.”Another student added, “I have never had someone trust me so deeply as Dr. Swearingen has. He believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself, and recognized qualities in me that I had been so blind to. He has been my hardest professor, my most rewarding professor, and biggest supporter. I know I always have someone in my corner. What makes the best professor or teacher is someone who sees something in each one of us, and not only acknowledges it, but pushes us to be better than we could have ever imagined.” Perhaps most clearly summing up these qualities in Dr. Swearingen, another student concluded, “[He] is the embodiment of the phrase and a testament to cura personalis - care of the whole person—as he strives to make his students, his community, and everyone else, the very best that they can be.”
Dr. Swearingen received his Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma and joined the JCU faculty in 2012. His areas of specialization include American Politics, Elections, Voting Behavior, Congress, Public Administration, and Geographic Information Systems.