Unsolicited Student Letters

Unsolicited cards, letters, and emails from students is often the most rewarding kind of feedback. Because of the self-selective nature of this feedback, it’s a less helpful measure of overall teaching. Nevertheless, receiving this feedback each semester is an important marker of success in connecting with and meeting student needs. Additionally, these spontaneous evaluations highlight areas that are critical to what I try to impart to my students: impactful teaching methodologies, genuine motivation, the relationship between theory and practical action, and the joy of learning.

The following are examples of this unsolicited feedback:

  • I can’t help but feel the sense that I will never stop taking this course.

  • Just wanted to thank you again for this course and I wish you the best of luck in all other courses wherever you go honestly, you may be the youngest professor at georgetown but I’ve learned the most from your classes both academically and personally. I think more of the others should adopt your methods of teaching…don’t tell them I said that though.

  • Especially after coming back from such a long time without studying, I needed someone to help me get back into study mode. But you were more than that, you managed to motivate me and that’s why I felt that every time I was doing an assignment, it had to be good enough to impress you.

  • Professor Olsen, I also wanted to further stress how grateful I am to you. Not only has your support and understanding this last month has been invaluable to my ability to successfully, personally cope and convalesce while managing my Georgetown academic demands but this course has been indescribably eye-opening and invaluable to me outlook on global justice and personal responsibility, its has given me the skills and language to talk intelligently and think methodologically about issues I have long been passionate about, so thank you so much.

  • I just wanted to thank you for a great course overall. It was really inspiring for me. Your point about questioning resonates deeply with me after having recently made a major life-changing decision after such deep evaluation and critical reflection. I was also especially moved by your emphasis on each one’s ability to be part of the change. Many of my friends in [foreign country] are participating in the ongoing demonstrations (since Sunday) in [foreign capital city] against the current government. Many have been injured and some were beaten and arrested. I regret not being able to join them but I am supporting them in every way I can and I hope to be even more politically active in the future, as you have become. Thank you for your interest in our lives and let me say that I have no doubt that you will make a fine professor. Good luck with everything.

  • I just wanted to say thank you for an overall great semester. I felt that I learned a lot and was challenged a great deal during the past months, all of which helped me develop as a student. I also think that your enthusiasm for teaching is obvious and had a positive impact on my classroom experience. This was definitely one of my more memorable classes, both due to what I learned and how much I was challenged.

  • I also wanted to thank you for giving us a great class this summer. I am really glad I joined this class. I have definitely gained a lot of insight regarding the environment. Hopefully you can come back and teach at SFS-Q.

  • I would happily make [your class] one of my two free electives out of all the classes at Georgetown.