Fargo, Hagos, and Ramakrishnan Earn Balmuth Award

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Three members of the Colgate faculty have been awarded the University’s 2022 Jerome Balmuth Award for Teaching.

Greg Fargo, head coach of Colgate Women’s Ice Hockey and instructor in physical education; Engda Hagos, associate professor of biology; and Mahadevi Ramakrishnan, senior lecturer in French, have been selected as recipients of the award endowed by Mark Siegel ’73 and named for the late Jerry Balmuth, Harry Emerson Fosdick Professor of philosophy and religion emeritus. 

The Balmuth Award was created to recognize those teacher-scholars who practice Colgate’s distinctive approach to liberal arts education at the highest level.

Greg Fargo has served as head coach of the Women’s Ice Hockey team since 2012. In that time, he has garnered many honors and awards, including leading the Raiders to their first Frozen Four and first national championship game, as well as being named as the 2021 ECAC Hockey Coach of the Year.

In nominating him for the Balmuth Award, a former student wrote: “So, what separates a good teacher from a great one? It is indeed the ability to transform individuals. It’s the ability to make an impact that extends far beyond the classroom. It’s the ability to not only develop valuable relationships with your students, but to maintain those relationships when your student is no longer a member of your class. These are the things that make Fargo the uniquely great teacher that he is.”

Engda Hagos’ research specialties include cell, molecular, and cancer biology. His research, published in the European Journal of Cell Biology with 10 Colgate student co-authors, examines how a specific protein inhibits cancer growth at the cellular level, which could lead to new cancer treatments in the future.

Students of Professor Hagos wrote: “Although Professor Hagos’ teaching style was very rewarding, his affable nature and love for his students were even more valuable. Every morning, Professor Hagos would greet each student and be sure to ask them how they were doing. For several reasons, this check-in, albeit a small gesture, carries tremendous significance. By always choosing to ask this question as opposed to exclusively offering a standard greeting, Professor Hagos demonstrates that he cares for his students on an individual level, and for many of us, it is reassuring to know that a member of Colgate’s faculty cares so deeply about their students.” 

Mahadevi Ramakrishnan joined the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures in 2006. Her service to the University is extensive. Most recently, she has served as a member of the Language Council, as a CORE C&I Transition Team member, and as a founding member of the Colgate Contingent Faculty Council.

In nominating her for the Balmuth Award, a former student wrote: “When I think back on my time at Colgate, I often think about the people who made an impact on my life while I was there. Those who supported me through difficult times, challenged me to grow into a better person, and enabled me to learn inside and outside of the classroom. I can confidently say that Professor Ramakrishnan made one of the most influential impacts on my life, and I am forever grateful that I had the opportunity to meet someone who cares so deeply for her students’ success.”