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Sunday, September 27, 2020

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Two professors named among top 300 in nation

Two professors at the University of Richmond have been named among the nation's 300 best professors in a guidebook published by The Princeton Review and RateMyProfessors.com.

Joseph Troncale, associate professor of Russian, and Stephen Long, professor of political science and international studies, have been included in the guidebook, which was created by compiling ratings and survey data from both organizations, said Robert Franek, the Princeton Review's senior vice president and publisher.

Pooja Patel, a freshman in Troncale's first year seminar, "St. Petersburg: the Myth and the City in Literature, Painting and Music," said she thought Troncale deserved the recognition.

"I don't know if any other professor I'll have at the University of Richmond can live up to his standards," she said. "He's set the bar extremely high."

Patel said Troncale had kept class interesting since he was so passionate about Russian culture.

She said she had originally thought about majoring in business, but had changed her mind after taking Troncale's class. He encouraged her to pursue the humanities, she said.

Kate Lawrenz, a sophomore who has taken two classes with Long, said that he was incredibly dedicated to teaching and advising.

"It's more than just a job to him," she said. "You can tell he loves it."

Lawrenz said Long had inspired her to pursue international relations after she took a class with him first semester of her freshman year.

"Even if you don't believe that you are passionate about international relations, he can help you find something you are passionate about," she said.

Long said he made an effort to get to know his students outside of class and always met with his new students before classes began.

"He makes you feel like you matter," Lawrenz said.

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Troncale said, as a teacher, he always tried to put himself in his students' place.

"I hope to lead my students to understand something about themselves," he said. "[College] is the place where your life begins."

Troncale said he loved to see that sparkle in his students' eyes when they thought, "Wow, this is really interesting."

Both professors said they thought their colleagues deserved the recognition as much as they did.

"There are other professors who should be on that list instead of me," Long said. "I don't think I'm unique. We all work really hard."

Contact staff writer Avery Shackelford at avery.shackelford@richmond.edu

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