Jenn Smola, Senior Staff Writer

Miami University students graduating next Friday will have the pleasure of hearing Charlotte Newman Goldy as the December commencement speaker.

Goldy, director of the Jewish studies program and associate professor of history, is the recipient of this year’s Effective Educator Award.

The recipients of the award have recently been the speakers at the December commencement, according to Kathy Squance, the president’s event planning assistant.

“At least through 1998 to 2004, the only speakers at the December commencement were a student representative and the president of the alumni association,” said Claire Wagner, associate director of university communications.

When David Hodge took over as president of Miami, however, he suggested that the recipient of the Effective Educator Award be the December commencement speaker, Wagner said.

Since 2006, the award recipient has been the speaker at December commencement.

The Effective Educator Award was established 28 years ago by the Miami University Alumni Association. The award serves to honor special educators at Miami who have made profound differences in the lives of their students.

Each year, alumni from the five-year reunion class are invited to submit nominees for the award.

Goldy said she is very honored to receive the award, as well as have the opportunity to speak at commencement.

“The chance to teach for 10 more minutes is an honor,” she said, viewing her speech as a final chance to teach what she can to graduating Miami students.

As a part of Miami University’s faculty for 28 years, Goldy is very connected to the university.

“I think it does make the commencement more personal when (the speaker) is someone connected to you,” Goldy said.

As a teacher and a parent of a recent college graduate, Goldy said she can only speak from her own perspective. In her speech, Goldy said she will be talking from that perspective about the passing of time.

Senior Conner Smallwood is one of the students graduating next week. As a student of Goldy’s, he’s looking forward to hearing her speak.

“It’ll be a really cool experience to see her up there,” he said.

Smallwood has taken three classes taught by Goldy, one of which was his capstone.

“She’s incredibly passionate about her teaching. The fact that she (is) speaking at commencement didn’t surprise me at all,” Smallwood said.

December commencement will take place at 3 p.m. Dec. 16 in Millet Hall.