College of Charleston Spanish Professor Devon Hanahan ’87 has been named the top professor in the country by the popular website ratemyprofessors.com.
The site, which bills itself as the largest online destination for professor ratings, compiles an annual list of the country’s top professors based on ratings provided by students.
Hanahan, who has placed in the top 10 multiple times, including two second-place rankings, is No. 1 on the 2015-2016 list. Her first-place ranking is based on 109 ratings from students who gushed about their favorite professor:
- “One of the best teachers I’ve ever had. She’s clear, very thorough, and extremely helpful. She is very passionate about her work and loves her students.”
- “She loves the school, the subject, and her students and it really shows.
- “If you have the option to take Hanahan, TAKE HER!!! By far my favorite prof. She took our class out to dinner, bought us all coffee, and invited us to her house. She thinks of her students as if they were her own kids. She is an amazing teacher and if you need help, she’s there for you 150%! I never wanted to skip class because she was so amazing!”
Students rate professors on a five-point scale; five is the highest and one the lowest. The ratings are then standardized and weighted, with more weight placed on rankings from recent years. Only professors with 30 ratings or more are included, and school size is not used as a factor.
Hanahan has said she doesn’t place a lot of stock in the rankings. “There’s no way to tell who the best teacher is in the country. It’s just a popularity contest,” she told College of Charleston Magazine in 2014. “I am not in teaching to be popular. I want to share my love of the language with as many kids as possible and give them the confidence that they can use what they learn outside of the classroom one day. I just happen to have a lot of fun while I’m doing that!”
A CofC Cougar through and through, Hanahan grew up on campus while her mom taught in the School of Education. She attended the College from 1983 to 1987 before joining the Hispanic studies faculty in 1995. She’s also a regular at men’s basketball games. Her son, Will Hanahan, is currently a junior at the College.