With almost 2,000 instructors employed at FSU, it gets hard to narrow down which ones to take when class registration comes around. Lucky for you, this list is a comprehensive look at the best professors the university has to offer.
With instructors ranging across all different majors, this is the ultimate guide for picking a great professor.
1. Dr. Jonathan Dennis
I am sure that those of you reading this who aren’t biology majors have already rolled your eyes and thought, “I will never voluntarily take a biology class in college.” However, Dr. Dennis has gotten rave reviews from students both in and out of the major. “The class challenges you in an amazing way…he really cares,” senior Evan Tilbury said. His publications and research fill his department page. Despite his brilliance, Dr. Dennis proved himself to be not only down to earth but incredibly engaging. Dr. Dennis has a unique way of teaching. He picks a playlist for every class, filled with songs that relate to that day’s lesson. He makes science entertaining, he makes you care and he makes itty bitty particles and concepts make sense by relating them to the big picture.
2. Jack Clifford
When you hear a mention of the name Jack Clifford, you see an overwhelming response of “Oh my gosh, I love him,” or “he’s seriously the best.” Clifford teaches an editing workshop for the English department; the course description of which does not begin to do his class justice. He works hard to make the class intriguing, providing guest speakers to talk to the class about their careers in journalism and beyond. In the spring semester of 2019, Clifford had speakers that worked in investigative journalism, prison reform and writers from across the globe. He also brings doughnuts, fruit, and chocolate to class. Every. Single. Week.
3. Kevin Curry
Art Instructor Kevin Curry teaches digital foundations at FSU. Digital foundations covers everything, from a myriad of technologies and software in Adobe Suites to learning how to use a laser printer. One of the best parts of the class is that you walk away with things you’ll continue to use outside of the classroom. Maybe not the laser printer, but Adobe Suites really comes in handy when building your resume and applying for jobs. Despite this, the best part of the class remains the instructor. Curry demonstrates all of the qualities that contribute to a memorable classroom experience. “He actually gives a crap; he gives great, constructive feedback to all of his students,” FSU student Nikki Mendez said. Curry continuously pushes his students to think outside of the box.
4. Dr. Kristie Fleckenstein
Dr. Kristie Fleckenstein serves as a favorite for many Florida State students. Her course, authoritarian literature, was quite intense when it came to reading. Students were assigned to read almost a novel a week. However, Dr. Fleckenstein chose interesting books that her students not only completed but enjoyed. “She’s a badass bitch who knows her s–t… she’s someone I really admire,” senior Megan Kirkham said. If you love to read, don’t pass up on the chance to take a class with Dr. Fleckenstein.
5. Mark Zeigler
Professor Mark Zeigler is one of the most well-known professors at FSU. Zeigler’s popularity is no surprise, given his impact on his students. “He is engaging, funny, and while he teaches the course material, he also weaves in relevant and applicable lessons that I will carry with me far past graduation,” senior Lilly Mock said. Zeigler incorporates valuable stories of respect, joy, spontaneity, and courage throughout his lectures. His stories guide students past public speaking into how to be better, more well-rounded people in their daily lives. Zeigler is also known for reading thousands of names off during graduating ceremonies with perfect timing and pronunciation; it is no surprise he is a professor of public speaking.
6. Luke Hopkins
Multiple students made sincere arguments that Luke Hopkins should be on this list. “He is constantly trying to get his students involved in marketing courses. [He] makes his classes a little challenging, but interesting, and he’s SUPER passionate about the material he teaches,” FSU graduate Brando Estes said. Even the most boring classes turn into something interesting when the teacher shows passion. “He was a cool guy that got everyone involved in the class. He made the lessons easy to understand even when the topics were difficult. He was also interested in making sure we were successful outside of the classroom. He didn’t just tell us about Seminole futures, but showed up and helped introduce us to people he knew,” senior Jake Cimbal said. If all students give the save raving reviews on a particular professor, be sure to check out the courses they teach.
7. Joe Calhoun
Joe Calhoun, a lecturer in the department of economics, teaches large classes of principles of economics with sometimes upwards of 3,000 students in each section. Despite the enormous class populations, Calhoun still manages to impact his students on an individual level. “Even though he teaches a pretty tough subject, he really shows his interest in his students besides economics. He is there to support you and make sure you understand the subject,” student Ashley Davidson said. A true testament of a good professor is their ability to get through a challenging subject and still maintain the ability to engross their students in the subject matter.
8. Jonathan Jackson
Jonathan Jackson has a background much broader than business. He is a U.S. Army veteran and experienced actor. However, he spends most of his time now teaching at the FSU college of business. “He taught my social media marketing class and is super engaging and caring. I looked forward to that class every Monday and Wednesday,” senior Rebecca Henderson said. Lucky for students, FSU offers many classes with professor Jackson. In addition to social media marketing, he teaches marketing strategy, digital marketing, data-driven marketing and customer experience.
9. Diane Roberts
Professor and Ph.D., Diane Roberts has an impressive background. Her accolades include published author, columnist, political journalist and Oxford University Alumni. Roberts has published four books, two essays and continues to write for publications like NPR and The Guardian. Her pieces can also be seen in the New York Times, The New Republic, and The Times of London. Roberts inspires her students to dig deep–deeper than they thought they could to produce work they too would be proud to publish.
10. Sally Karioth
Dr. Sally Karioth, a longtime professor at Florida State, teaches in the college of nursing but students know her best for her class Death and the Family. Karioth somehow managed to make a class surrounding death quite lively. “She is full of great life advice and makes you feel so at home and comfortable in her classroom,” student Leah Thompson said. “She creates a safe space to be vulnerable and talk about the hard things you have experienced and will experience at some point in your life.” Karioth teaches at the FSU campus in London as well as the main campus in Tallahassee. She is a truly empathetic and accomplished woman passing on her wisdom to students.