The coolest professors at Berkeley, according to the Golden Apple Awards

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Dan Mulhern/Courtesy

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The Golden Apple has returned once again! Basically, the award lets us tell our favorite professors how cool we think they are each year.

After two years of apple silence, we are thrilled to welcome back the award and honor one of our many amazing professors! For this Berkeley specific award, students nominate and vote for their favorite professors. The most voted winner gets some cash to help with his/her research, but more importantly the professor will give an epic lecture for the student body that embodies what they would say if it was their last lecture.

The best part? The committee interrupts lecture and presents the winning professor with a basket of apples. Last week, students awarded Daniel Mulhern with the seventh annual Golden Apple Award. He obviously hasn’t wasted anytime here at Cal, because this award came after only two years of teaching leadership courses in the Haas School of Business and the UC Berkeley School of Law.

In case your still looking for classes next semester  — obviously the Clog procrastinates until the day before Telebears — we thought it would be fun to look back at all the amazing professors and lecturers who have been dubbed Golden Apple Award winners and welcome Professor Mulhern into the club.

2010: Professor Terry Johnson
 (Bioengineering)

We think just keeping students awake in any science class should make you deserving of the Golden Apple award. Usually it is a close race between all the awesome professors, but in 2010 Johnson was clearly the winner. Yay science!

2009: 
Professor Robb Willer
 (Sociology)

This assistant Sociology professor had also only been teaching for about two years when he received this award. His students enjoyed his humor … and the fact that he played Michael Jordan clips in class.

2008:
 Professor Ananya Roy (Global Poverty)

This woman is pretty much amazing. The only lady to win the award so far, she taught the wildly popular class “Global Poverty: Challenges and Hopes in the New Millenium.” She’s also the chair of the undergraduate Urban-Studies major and the associate Dean of Academic Affairs in the International and Area Studies department (now that’s a mouth-full). Apparently she has to ask her students to withhold applause at the end of each class, which is pretty epic.

2007: Professor Leon Litwack (History)

This year was especially meaningful because it was this history professor’s last semester before retiring when he won the award. This guy was also a legit author … and he also won a Pulitzer-Prize. After receiving the award, Litwack went straight back to lecturing, a typical professor move.

2006: Professor David Presti (Neurobiology)

This senior lecturer was also nominated as an “everyday hero” on the 2005 UC Undergraduate Experience Survey. Winning two awards voted by students is rather impressive if you ask us. Also, his students refer to him as “God” — no big deal.

2005: Professor Darren Zook
 (Political Science)

In its first year, the award was actually presented as the ASUC Outstanding Teaching Award but they came up with the cooler name the next year. This Political Science and International and Area Studies professor was made fun of by his students for never trying a Red Bull energy drink. But after his “ideal last lecture,” he drank one in front of all of the students. Everyone loves a professor who tries new things!

We love how awesome our school is, so the Clog gets all warm and fuzzy inside when we get to recognize some of the amazing teachers. Are there any other teachers you feel should win the award? Let us know in the comments below!