Math and statistics professor wins award


Morgan Reddekopp

Professor Joyati Debnath is this year’s recipient of the Distinguished Faculty and Staff Award. Debnath has been teaching in Winona State University’s Mathematics and Statistics department since 1989.

Morgan Reddekopp, Editor-in-Chief

Joyati Debnath of the mathematics and statistics department received the Distinguished Faculty and Staff award for Winona State University, where she has been teaching since 1989. Debnath was nominated for this award by her former student, Kathleen Wong.

Deanna Goddard, the associate director of career services and member of the Distinguished Awards Committee, explained the process of nominating a professor or faculty member for this award.

“Nominations are open, so at any point you can submit a nomination, but the deadline to be considered for the upcoming year is Feb. 1,” Goddard said. “Once that deadline closes, materials are gathered and a small committee of representatives of the alumni board come together and review all the nominations.”

The decisions for the Distinguished Awards for the following year are made between April and May. There are also three other awards: Distinguished Young Alumni, Distinguished Alumni and Distinguished Service.

According to Goddard, once the alumni board decides who should receive each award, they pass their recommendations on to the department of Alumni Relations Office, where it then goes to the Vice President of Advancement’s office and then to the President’s office.

Goddard believes that Debnath received the award for many reasons.

“Because it was a student nomination, the committee was able to see both how well [Debnath] has achieved in terms of her dedication to her profession and her expertise in academia,” Goddard said.

Debnath has also received several other awards including, the Outstanding Woman in Education award and the Best Teaching award. She has also received many local and national awards, and does community service work.

Debnath was surprised that she has received this award, but believes she received it because of her dedication to her students.

“It is a little surprising, I think it is because I tried to help the students in every way I could. Students tell me that I have no tiredness when helping them. I like to make my students feel like they are my guests when they step into my classroom,” Debnath said.

Debnath is always the first person to get to class, and the last one to leave. Many students do not even leave the classroom without saying ‘bye’ and ‘see you tomorrow.’ Debnath also is accommodating to students struggling with personal issues.

Debnath keeps in touch with many of her students after graduation.

“I keep in touch with many of my students after they graduate. I hear when they are getting married and when they get a job… I have had many students tell me that they are who they are today because of me,” Debnath said.

Debnath’s favorite part of her job is the opportunity to teach.

“My favorite part of my job is the teaching. Any teaching moment I get, I am not going to let go. If a student asks me a question, I will take that opportunity to teach them,” Debnath said.

Goddard would like more students to nominate people for the Distinguished Awards.

“I hope that current students and recent graduates review the different awards and consider nominating those who they feel are really deserving of [them],” Goddard said.