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Princeton Review names professor one of the best

As registration for fall 2012 goes underway, many Stony Brook students will turn to ratemyprofessors.com, a popular professor-rating site, in hopes of finding good comments about their future instructors.

Students interested in taking a class with sociology Professor Catherine Marrone will not be disappointed by the numerous pages of ratings she has.

Professor Marrone has been named among the top 300 college and university professors in the nation by The Princeton Review in the newly released book, “The Best 300 Professors.”

The book was created with ratemyprofessors.com by using qualitative and quantitative data collected from students at colleges and universities across the nation.

Professor Marrone has been teaching sociology to undergraduate students since 1998.  She is the director of undergraduate studies and serves as a faculty advisor in the multi-disciplinary studies major.

Marrone said the recognition becoming public made her nervous, but the idea that Stony Brook University would be listed in the book was a great thing.

“I didn’t think of it as an award for me,” Marrone said. “I thought that it was Stony Brook that was being recognized, and that made me happy.”

She attended Stony Brook, receiving both her BA and Ph.D in sociology.  She then completed a two-year post-docorate program at the Yale School of Medicine in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health.

“I just love the whole perspective of the social environment and determining new behavior,” Marrone said. “It’s interesting how influential all sorts of relationships are in terms of behavior.”

Her love for sociology and interest in medicine led her to focus on medical sociology, the study of health care delivery, epidemiology and healthcare professions.

“I was very interested in nursing and medicine because I was interested in gender,” Marrone said. “I wanted to know the history of why women went into nursing and men became physicians.”

Marrone always knew she wanted to be a teacher.

“I love learning,” she said, “and if you love learning, you love teaching.”

After taking a sociology class in high school, she was immediately drawn to the field.

“I’m in that rare, rare group who came to college knowing what they wanted to do,” Marrone said.

Her students say that her love for teaching and sociology comes through every time she lectures.

“She is definitely from a very rare breed of professors,” Mohammed Naeem, a student of Marrone’s, said. “I absolutely love going to her class. She creates this very comfortable atmosphere where learning is enjoyed and coming to class feels like a blessing rather than a burden.”

Marrone said that she likes teaching large classes.

“There’s a certain energy in a big class that I like,” Marrone said. “You have more students and you get more feedback.”

Clayton Fordahl, a second-year Ph.D student in the department of sociology has been a teacher’s  assistant for Marrone for the past three semesters and said that students always seem to take a liking to her.

“All the students I have talked to seem to really love Professor Marrone’s courses,” he said. “Students that are not sociology majors likely find her courses as enjoyable as the sociology majors do.”

Marrone said that besides the material, it is the students that really make teaching enjoyable.

“I love, love, love the students,” she said. “I find them to be such great young people.”

Marrone says that there has been an overwhelming response to the award.

“It really made me feel very, very touched,” she said, “I was kind of embarrassed by it.”

As far as ratemyprofessors.com goes, Marrone said she does not look at it.

“I know its there, but I feel like if I look at it I am kind of snooping because it is a student tool,” she said. “I am so flattered, and I can’t believe that students take the time to write nice things about me up there, but I don’t really look.”

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