Excerpts From Peer Evaluations


​" Dr. Akhavan was hired into a leadership role in the department and has performed admirably in that role." (Roland Specht-Jarvis, Dean, SCSU, February 18, 2004)


" Faculty, under her direction, make decisions based upon policy formulated in discussion, rather than through fiat or intrigue.  In consequence we are more open, trusting, and collegial.  We work more cooperatively and display greater respect for differences.  Collaboration is on the rise.  These changes did not come about through accident.  Dr. Akhavan developed a plan for improving the environment and worked steadily and straight forwardly to make it work.  She has been fair, honest, and amiable in all her dealings.  She is aware, accessible, clear in her approach.  She acts with integrity, sensitivity, and respect for all concerned, behaving professionally and responsibly in every circumstance."  (Marjorie Fish, Professor, Department of Mass Communications, December 2003)


" Roya has personally brought to me and my experiences at St. Cloud State University a level of professionalism and leadership I have sought for many years.  I have come to deeply admire Roya's integrity, ethical perspective, and objectivity.  She has problem-solving and analytical skills that I greatly admire and have come to rely upon.  My highest comments for Roya come from the perspective of her openness and integrity.  (Jo McMullen-Boyer, Station Manager, KVSC FM 88.1, March 4, 2004)


​" Her positive attitude, openness for dialogue, and skills as a mediator have truly made a difference in our department.  She is committed to fairness and honest communication."  (Ilia Rodriguez, Assistant Professor, Department of Mass Communications, April 23, 2003)


" During her tenure in the Chairperson position in the Department of Mass Communications, Professor Akhavan has built a greater and greater sense of common purpose, which has proven elusive in the past.  All voices now feel free to express opinions.  Morale in our department is at a high-point."  (Gregory Martin, Professor, Department of Mass Communications, April 23, 2003) 


​" Roya is a brilliant, creative, extremely disciplined and hardworking, yet modest person.  She is a fine teacher and scholar as well as a leader-- a most unusual combination.  She taught several courses for us over the last couple of years, and in all she performed at the highest level.  She is superbly able to energize and inspire students to do their best work."  (Nancy Roberts, Professor, U of M School of Journalism and Mass Communication, February 26, 2000)


" In every capacity and instance that I have worked with Dr. Akhavan I have held the utmost respect for her.  She always provides a strong voice with an intelligent perspective.  Her 'people skills' are excellent.  She listens effectively and knows the importance of forging grassroots support."  (Gary Kolb, Professor, SIUC, February 27, 2000)


" She has the classic profile of an outstanding achiever in our discipline.  Her level of interaction with students, the standards she holds, and her willingness to work with problem cases and with exceptional proteges make her an ideal classroom teacher and mentor.  I cannot praise her teaching more than to say that she is an ideal faculty colleague whose courses are rigorous, well prepared, current and effective.  She is an enthusiastic force around whom others congregate. She is a leader who helped kindle a spirit in our faculty, and her presence here has been sorely missed."  (Gerald Stone, Professor, School of Journalism, SIUC, February 25, 2000) 


" Professor Akhavan is a very complete faculty member.  She is living proof that outstanding research and outstanding teaching go hand-in-hand and support each other.  Professor Akhavan brings to the classroom one of the nation's most informed perspectives on international mass communication and issues involving mass media and society.  Hers is a rising name in the field that has attracted significant national and international attention."  (Joe Foote, Dean, SIUC, February 8, 1996)


" I have reviewed Dr. Akhavan's student teaching evaluations.  They are truly outstanding.  Almost uniformly students rank her exceptional or excellent in various aspects of her teaching.  I am not surprised by the student evaluations.  I talk to many of our students.  They call her demanding, but fair, and exceptionally proficient in imparting knowledge to them."  (Robert Spellman, Associate Professor, School of Journalism, SIUC, February 2, 1996)


" All of the evidence indicates that she is a dedicated teacher who is very organized and well prepared each time she steps into the classroom.  She seems not only able to inform her students, but to go beyond that to actually inspire them."  (Tenure and Promotion Committee, SIUC, 1992)






Excerpts From Student Evaluations


"This class really opened my eyes on so many things.  Thank you Dr. Roya for an amazing semester." (Anonymous course evaluation, COMM 630- International Mass Communication, Fall 2016)


"I think the class provided excellent conversation on important topics." (Anonymous course evaluation, COMM 630- International Mass Communication, Fall 2016)


"She is well versed in this field.  She also cares so much about her students and helps them succeed in the class and their careers.  She is an exceptional professor." (Anonymous course evaluation, COMM 630- International Mass Communication, Fall 2016)


"Really good!  Really helpful!" (Anonymous course evaluation, COMM 630- International Mass Communication, Fall 2016)


"Very stimulating discussions on contemporary issues.  I feel I have a more well-rounded understanding of worldwide issues as a result of taking this course." (Anonymous course evaluation, COMM 630- International Mass Communication, Fall 2016)


"Very knowledgeable and always open to questions and comments."  (Anonymous course evaluation, COMM 630- International Mass Communication, Fall 2014)


" Dr. Akhavan found a good balance of challenge and fun in this course."  (Anonymous course evaluation, COMM 632- Advanced Research Methods, Spring 2014)


" Very enjoyable discussions.  Broad range of topics centered on a focused class theme."  (Anonymous course evaluation, COMM 630- International Mass Communication, Spring 2014)


" Instruction was not only knowledgeable and in-depth, but Dr. Akhavan seemed to know how to bring out my strengths and improve my weaknesses."  (Anonymous course evaluation, COMM 630- International Mass Communication, Spring 2014)

" I have had some incredible professors in the past, so I am not quick to put people in that category of 'exceptional.'  However, this class and Dr. Akhavan have a place there.  I've never been so challenged in a course, but at the same time felt encouraged to keep going.  It was a great mix of lecture, application, and in-class activity.  I wish I could take more classes with Dr. Akhavan.  Thank you for pushing me and creating such a great environment to learn in!" (Anonymous course evaluation, COMM 632- Advanced Research Methods, Spring 2013)


" Professor Akhavan rocks.  She is a great teacher who knows what she is talking about.  Awesome Professor."  (Anonymous course evaluation, COMM 632- Advanced Research Methods, Spring 2013)


" This was a very insightful and fun course."  (Anonymous course evaluation, COMM 632- Advanced Research Methods, Spring 2013)


" She is very knowledgeable, and excellent at delivering the knowledge." (Anonymous course evaluation, COMM 632- Advanced Research Methods, Spring 2013)


" She did a nice job of intertwining personal research examples and the textbook for best understanding."  (Anonymous course evaluation, COMM 632- Advanced Research Methods, Spring 2013)


" Throughout the entire course, Dr. Akhavan guided our discussions helping us not only gain information but turn it into knowledge.  She and her way of teaching are exceptional.  She was willing and able to discuss whichever topics we choose." (Anonymous course evaluation, COMM 630- International Mass Communication, Fall 2012)


" I developed a different perspective of looking at the world." (Anonymous course evaluation, COMM 630- International Mass Communication, Fall 2012)

  

 " I enjoyed the set-up of this course.  Opened up a global perspective that I was previously rather uneducated in." (Anonymous course evaluation, COMM 630- International Mass Communication, Fall 2012)


" Appreciated your relevant examples of your own research." (Anonymous course evaluation, COMM 632- Advanced Research Methods, Spring 2008)


" The instruction was excellent and the professor had immense knowledge on each and every topic discussed."  (Anonymous course evaluation, COMM 632- Advanced Research Methods, Spring 2008)


" This was one of my favorite classes and I learned so much about international communication.  Having a professor who has a rich knowledge and understanding of the subject helped a lot." (Anonymous course evaluation, COMM 630- International Mass Communication, Spring 2008)


" I enjoyed participating in this class for its very open and honest discussions and the instructor's knowledge about the subject matter." (Anonymous course evaluation, COMM 630- International Mass Communication, Spring 2008)


"The class has expanded my international perspective.  The professor's research added a lot to the class." (Anonymous course evaluation, COMM 630- International Mass Communication, Spring 2008)


" This class was very informative and thought provoking.  I appreciated the class discussions each week and the diversity of thoughts." (Anonymous course evaluation, COMM 630- International Mass Communication, Spring 2008)


" Very happy with instructor- Very good teaching style (Never condescending- Whatever someone says- Even if it is way off base- She finds a way to incorporate, acknowledge, lead to the correct answer.  Challenges students.  Wish I could have her again as instructor- I learned so much." (Anonymous course evaluation, COMM 630- International Mass Communication, Fall 2002) 


" I enjoyed the course immensely. The structure suited my learning abilities well (discussions, little lecturing, excellent reading materials)." (Anonymous course evaluation, COMM 630- International Mass Communication, Fall 2002)


" I thoroughly enjoyed this class and having Dr. Akhavan as my instructor.  I felt she had an excellent grasp on the information involved in this course.  She is thoughtful toward others' opinions and willing to listen."  (Anonymous course evaluation, COMM 630- International Mass Communication, Fall 2002)


" We were encouraged to express our opinions freely." (Anonymous course evaluation, COMM 630- International Mass Communication, Fall 2002)


" I really enjoyed the discussion format of the course.  This course has really opened up some of my views and really made me think and evaluate what I believe."  (Anonymous course evaluation, COMM 630- International Mass Communication, Fall 2002)


Excerpts From Student Letters


​" She has such a passion for the topic and capacity for facilitating learning and creating interaction among students.  I was impressed by the professor's ability to lead by example in allowing individuality of opinions, while providing thought-provoking questions.  Dr. Akhavan's genuine interest in me and other students created a lifelong impression on me." (Paula M. Cotten, January 8, 2004)


" Dr. Akhavan provides students with a forum for higher thinking and a great deal of motivation.  Every once in a while, you come across a professor with a real passion for teaching.  By this I mean going beyond the obvious with invigorating thoughts deeply into a subject and making connections well beyond the text.  Dr. Akhavan is a professor with such a passion." (Siddharth Ray, December 2, 2003)


" Dr. Akhavan successfully created an environment that prompted me as well as other students to think critically.  Our weekly sophisticated discussions were facilitated with great knowledge of the topics as well as a desire to help us understand complex issues.  I respect Dr. Akhavan for her outgoing character, interpersonal skills, and rich experience and exceptional knowledge of mass communications." (Natasha Castravet, November 20, 2003)


" Dr. Akhavan consistently goes the extra mile when dealing with her students.  Once cannot be in her class and melt into the background.  She brings a great deal of enthusiasm to each of her classes.  Her lectures are well thought out and thorough and include the latest information available beyond the limits of the textbook.  There is a decency and honor about the way Dr. Akhavan conducts herself.  She is a person of integrity."  (Patricia Brierton, February, 7. 1996)


" Without preaching or engaging in political diatribes, she is able to transmit professional and human values in the classroom, engaging students in the type of intellectual exercise that is enriching to the mind and the soul, and through which they can learn to better understand themselves and the world around them.  It is thanks to her work and her effort as a teacher that I have become not only a good journalist, but also a good person, a good husband, and good father; someone who is able to think about the world in a more open and more understanding way." (Fernando Feliu-Moggi, January 29, 1996)


" What most impressed me about Dr. Akhavan was her enthusiasm.  She was extremely enthusiastic about teaching and transmitted that enthusiasm to the students.  Dr. Akhavan did something that amazed me.  She took a rather general class and made it specific.  More than that, she made it interesting.  She literally pulled me into the subject and I found myself caring about and joyfully participating in class discussions." (Barry Eiland, January 31, 1996) 


" Excellence, professionalism, commitment, enthusiasm and compassion are the first words to enter my mind as I consider Dr. Roya Akhavan's teaching ability.  Demonstrating this commitment through exceptional teaching skills and her compassion for people, Dr. Roya Akhavan was able to create a classroom atmosphere in which most students felt confident in sharing their ideas with others.  She facilitated class discussion with commendable diplomacy, and challenged students to critically evaluate course concepts." (Melissa Boyster, February 1, 1996)


" I can think of no other class I have taken at SIUC where the intellectual exchange between American and the many international students in our program was so balanced, informative and stimulating."  (Gary Wolf, February 6, 1996)


" Dr. Akhavan has established a reputation of concern and fairness for her students.  She is open to opposing views and willing to discuss alternatives, thus facilitating not a dictatorial relationship with the students, but a nurturing one."  (Lance Speere, February 7, 1996)


" Rather than merely presenting information, Dr. Akhavan finds ways to make the material come alive.  Whether it is through guided discussion or lively illustration, she brings relevance to otherwise obscure concepts and theories.  Dr. Akhavan is also a good listener.  She discerns what the members of her class are thinking, and is flexible in responding to individuals.  It is evident from the seemingly effortless manner in which Dr. Akhavan delivers her classroom lectures that she is extremely focused and well prepared. (Stephen Banning, February 6, 1996)


" Something I found unique to Professor Akhavan is that she would rework a concept or formula if a few students still hadn't caught on, as opposed to just telling them to see her afterwards.  She was really attunded to her students' needs and worked hard to make sure that they did not just know the information, but that they understood it."  (Nora Ferguson-Buhlig, January 30, 1996)


​" Dr. Akhavan's instruction is clear, thorough and non-intimidating.  She creates a classroom atmosphere that encourages and promotes learning.  Students feel free to express themselves because the instructor makes them feel It's okay to do so.  Even if the students' answers are not on the right track, Dr. Akhavan guides them in the right direction without making the students feel inadequate.  It is obvious that Dr. Akhavan cares whether students learn.  She takes our work SERIOUSLY.  She comes to class prepared.  Dr. Akhavan is enthusiastic about her profession." (Lorraine Fuller, September 14, 1992) 

 

" I took a class entitled 'International Communication' with her and I found her to be a great intellectual with incredible depth of teaching ability.  Her performance was exceptional." (Adegbola Omoniyi, October 1, 1992)


" Dr. Akhavan has a challenging, enriching, and effective teaching style.  As an educator, she has a good interpersonal communication quality.  Whether in class or outside, she always has time to listen to students and she really cares. (Jean Rabary, July 31, 1991)


" Dr. Akhavan's courses on international communication have been among the most stimulating and enjoyable I have taken at SIUC.  Her knowledge of international affairs is vast and is tempered by an understanding and compassion that is rare."(Nina Wilfred, August 9, 1991)