After joining the UC Berkeley faculty only two years ago, lecturer Daniel Mulhern learned Saturday that he has been awarded the seventh annual ASUC Golden Apple Award for Outstanding Teaching.
The Golden Apple Award allows students to nominate and vote for their favorite professors on campus. Mulhern, who teaches courses on leadership in the Haas School of Business and the UC Berkeley School of Law, said he was grateful to receive the honor.
“I really love my students, and I love ideas. When students want to learn and grow, I’m in heaven every day,” Mulhern said. “I’m learning as much as I’m teaching, every day I walk into the classroom.”
In the fall of 2012, Mulhern taught Leadership: Purpose, Authority and Empowerment, an undergraduate business administration course examining topics in organizational behavior and industrial relations, as well as Holistic Leadership, a public policy course that examines current problems and issues in the field of public policy.
“I don’t think there’s any other professor that deserves it more,” said UC Berkeley senior Kunal Agarwal, one of Mulhern’s students. “He spends time just trying to make a personal connection with every single student in the class. He takes the aspirations students have and makes them a priority for himself.”
Mulhern’s initial response to learning he had won the award was “abiding disbelief.” For him, the fact that his students nominated and mobilized to vote for him was “very, very gratifying.”
According to Academic Affairs Vice President Natalie Gavello, this year, the votes were close. However, Mulhern “stood out in the quality of the votes, in addition to having more votes than any other professor,” she said in an email.
Prior to his time at UC Berkeley, Mulhern authored two books on leadership. He is currently the president of Dan Mulhern Inc. and Granholm Mulhern Associates, a successful leadership firm.
Mulhern has been asked to deliver his “ideal last lecture” in late March, in accordance with the guidelines and selection criterion of the award. He will also be presented a cash grant to aid him in continuing to create a positive intellectual community for Berkeley students.
The award started almost 10 years ago when an ASUC senator wanted to honor an outstanding professor. Previous recipients of the award include city and regional planning professor Ananya Roy, neurobiology professor David Presti, history professor Leon Litwack, and bioengineering professor Terry Johnson.
The Office of Academic Affairs Vice President helped revive the award this year following a short absence from 2011-12. The office hopes to successfully organize a structure for the award, which had struggled to make a comeback over the past two years, so that it can continue to recognize outstanding professors.