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Website for collegians touts star power of D'Amore

03.24.15
By: Mark Tarnacki
Maura D'Amore

Maura D'Amore

A national website dedicated to supporting college students with good advice and information is celebrating Saint Michael's College English and American Studies Professor Maura D'Amore as one of "40 Under 40: Professors Who Inspire."

The online series by that name is a product of NerdScholar, a division of NerdWallet – an enterprise "committed to helping students make informed decisions about their education – everything from choosing a school to paying off loans." It is supported by foundations that include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

NerdScholar representatives recently invited administrators and students at Saint Michael's and other colleges to suggest youthful professors who would be good candidates for the "40 under 40" series. "Obviously I heard a lot of good candidates mentioned, but Maura D'Amore's name kept coming up," says Allison Tilton, the College's digital media marketing strategist. She was pleased when D'Amore agreed to fill out a questionnaire for the web site at the prompting of administrators and students who suggested her nomination.

"Now, she's sitting proudly amongst some other great professors in schools across the nation in NerdScholar's 2nd annual "40 Under 40: Professors Who Inspire" series!" Tilton said.

D'Amore's entry on the site shares that D'Amore's "favorite teaching moments happen when 'the room becomes a space where we commit ourselves to true dialogue: the joint enterprise of engaging, probing, and building on one another's ideas. These teaching moments are unsettling in the best of ways, and I leave class humming with the energy and excitement of smart talk about texts. 'A colleague at St. Michael's, in Colchester, Vermont, says D'Amore 'treats every idea or opinion with respect and makes an enthusiastic, intelligent response, which encourages each student to participate and engage with the material.'"

Under the heading "Described As," her listing says D'Amore is "Engaging, Accessible, Supportive." It also lists her alma maters -- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Ph.D.) and Brown University (A.B.)

Her "proudest accomplishment," D'Amore is quoted as saying on the profile, is "Seeing my students excel in readings and discussions," and her favorite place on campus is the Sloane Art Center, while her "favorite nerd" is Nathaniel Hawthorne.

According to NerdScholar, "these forty professors on the site were chosen based on their ability to captivate and engage students in the classroom, their outstanding involvement on campus and in the community, and their overwhelming passion for their subject matter." Nominations were collected through student, alumni and faculty recommendations following an open call to several hundred colleges and universities across the country.

NerdWallet bills itself as "a consumer finance website that helps people make better decisions when it comes to their money." NerdScholar in turn "is the higher education branch that offers advice and resources specifically for college students. Our free website walks students through the process of choosing a best-fit college, applying for financial aid, taking out student loans, and landing a job."

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