Click Selection

Search News Releases:

News Resources
on the Web

24 April 2007
Dr. Safaa Al-Hamdani - Recipient of Prestigious ASB Meritorious Teaching Award

2007 Meritorious Teacher Recipient, Dr. Safaa Al-Hamdani

Dr. Safaa Al-Hamdani, Jacksonville State University Biology Professor, was recently named the recipient of the 2007 Association of Southeastern Biologists Meritorious Teaching Award. Each year the Association of Southeastern Biologists (ASB) bestows its highest honor on one of its members as the Meritorious Teacher.

Dr. Safaa Al-Hamdani, center, is pictured here with former student Wayne Barger, right, who nominated Dr. Al-Hamdani for this award.

The ASB Meritorious Teaching Award is their most prestigious award, honoring those who have excelled in their commitment to excellence in teaching and relaying their love and passion for biology to others. The award carries a cash prize of $1,500.00 and is graciously sponsored by patron member Carolina Biological Supply. Each year faculty are nominated by their peers to a selection committee that select the candidate or in some years (as you can see from the website) no award is given - nominees are not up to the standards.

In naming Dr. Al-Hamdani as the recipient of this award, Dr. Al-Hamdani was declared to be an outstanding scientist, teacher, mentor and humanitarian and it was stated that the Association honors itself by claiming association with a person of his calibre.

JSU Students attend ASB Ceremony Honoring Dr. Al-Hamdani

In selecting Dr. Al-Hamdani for this award, the Association received many letter outlining how this individual has impacted the lives of his students and colleagues throughout the years. Among the many comments were these:


¨      “During our first meeting he and I spoke only a few minutes, but his enthusiasm was immediately apparent . . . .  we talked about a variety of topics, not just biology or education related, but about my personal goals and aspirations, family, almost anything. Prior to this no other teacher I had ever encountered had shown such an interest in me, not just as a student, but also as a person”


¨      “[He taught me] a great deal how to do research, how to plan and carry out experiments, and how to present my work . . . But the most important thing he did was believe in me when on one else did, myself included.”


¨      “I chose to work under him during graduate school because of his expectations of excellence from his students, insistence on publishing quality research, and his willingness to provide support.”


¨      “[His passion for teaching and research] would reveal itself in his interactions with students, and not just his students. His door was always open for anyone, at anytime and for any reason. His selflessness and willingness to teach outside the confines of a traditional classroom are the attributes that endear him to the students’ lives he has influenced.”


¨      “He is passionate about sharing his knowledge with students and making them understand that he is there to make them better biologists.”


The Association also recognized the many awards Dr. Al-Hamdani has received over his career. Among these are: Jacksonville State University’s Faculty Scholar Lecturer Award, the College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Award for Institutional Services, the College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Research Award, Education and Service Award and the International Student Organization Award.


Besides his work at his university, this remarkable person has taken his love of learning far beyond his campus and even far beyond the borders of the United States. Working with high school biology teachers in Alabama our recipient “worked incessantly to demonstrate laboratory exercises that the teachers could complete with their students. He then followed through by visiting their classrooms, carrying laboratory supplies, assisting teachers in setting up the exercise, and then helping them to teach the exercise.” When he could not go , he sent his students, demonstrating to them the importance of teaching our discipline at every level.


After spending one year in Jordan as a Fulbright scholar, he visited his homeland, Iraq, and realized the critical need for books and other material at the universities there. Not waiting for others to meet the need, he started “Books for Baghdad” and has collected and sent literally tens of thousands of books, and over $10,000 worth of supplies to that war-torn nation.


Submit items for news releases by using the request form at