JWU Ranked by U.S. News, Money, WSJ for Teaching, Value, Student Engagement

JWU has been recognized by 3 top higher education rankings — U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges Rankings 2021, Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education Rankings 2021 and Money’s Best Colleges 2020.

U.S. News recognized JWU for Best Undergraduate Teaching, Best Colleges Overall, and Top Performers on Social Mobility. The latter measures how well schools graduated students who received Pell Grants, given to students from households with annual incomes of less than $50,000. All 3 U.S. News rankings are for the Providence Campus and fall within the Regional Universities North category.

Money’s Best Colleges 2020 list included JWU’s Providence Campus in its ranking of schools by their value, based on the quality of education, affordability and outcomes including graduates’ earnings, employment status, career trajectory and socio-economic mobility.

All 4 JWU campuses were named to the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education overall ranking, which focuses on students’ engagement with studies, interaction with teachers and satisfaction with educational experience.

“This is a true testament to our commitment to education.”

Best Undergraduate Teaching
Being positioned in U.S. News Best Undergraduate Teaching ranking is a significant distinction for JWU. The schools chosen are nominated by our peers in higher education, making it all the more meaningful. JWU moved up 5 places in this year’s ranking.

“For the second year in a row, Johnson & Wales University has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report in the category of Best Undergraduate Teaching,” said Providence Campus President Marie Bernardo-Sousa LP.D., '92. “Our rise in the ranking from #21 last year to #16 this year reflects the continued dedication of our faculty to provide an outstanding, valuable educational experience to our students. This is a true testament to our commitment to education.”

In recognition of our faculty’s well-deserved honor, we’ve pulled together a selection of narratives and quotes about why JWU faculty are the best. They are not only a step ahead in the areas they teach and the industries our graduates work in, but they also go above and beyond with mentoring and advising students within and beyond the classroom.

“The passion and dedication Professor Brosnan has for his craft was what inspired me.”

Professor Jim Brosnan, Ph.D.
Professor Brosnan teaches creative writing courses and is advisor for The Maze, the university’s literary magazine.
“The passion and dedication Professor Brosnan has for his craft was what inspired me — it was a great opportunity to work with him as a student and a designer. He helped me develop my voice and style as an author, but more importantly, he gave me the tools and strategies to improve upon my work. His strong connection with nature, observation and introspection made it a joy to design his work.”
— Lauren Carlson '18, Graphic Design, who designed the cover of one of Brosnan’s poetry books

Professor Christine Stamm, Ed.D.
“Professor Stamm is a force to be reckoned with and her class is immeasurably important to the next generation of food service workers; it has changed my whole perception of the world around me and the issues surrounding food production and distribution. Writing this piece [“Food Security Site Project: Hope’s Harvest”] was incredibly eye-opening. While writing it, I was immersed in an organization that does so much good with so few resources, which shows the importance and impact of community activism.”
— Katherine van Rijswijck ’19, Food Service Management
Student Assistant, Energy Conservation Office
Student Activists Supporting Sustainability (SASS)
Green Collaborative

Sam Farley and Rainer Hienerwadel of JWU Providence

Master Instructor Rainer Hienerwadel ’96, '04 M.A.T.
Chef Hienerwadel mentored culinary student Sam Farley '20 for the 2020 Young Chef Olympiad in India. Farley brought home two medals: one for Best Young Chef Ambassador for the U.S. and one for Sustainability, which was the official theme of this year’s Olympiad and a topic both Farley and Hienerwadel are passionate about.
“Those of us in food-related industries must lead by example and promote sustainability through culinary education, apprenticeship programs, chefs’ associations, and our everyday practices. We as educators can help steer this bus of sustainability in the right direction and we must.”

Professor Robert Lothrop, Ph.D.
“Cooking is a scientific experiment itself. However, it is so important to cook safely. And with my background in food chemistry and food microbiology I will know the best and most efficient ways to run my classroom. I want to take the learning style I acquired from Professor Robert Lothrop and teach with the extreme passion and knowledge he did.”
Molly Gordon '20, a culinary teacher for 9th-12th grade students

Professor Paul Bagdan, Ph.D.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank my honor's thesis advisor, Professor Paul Bagdan, for his tremendous guidance and steadfast enthusiasm throughout this project. Although slightly daunting at first, writing my honors thesis [“A Research Synthesis: The Effects of Atmospheric Design Elements on Customer Emotions, Behaviors and Overall Satisfaction”] has been one of the most rewarding academic experiences I have had so far in my career. I was able to find a topic I was truly passionate about and one that would bring value to my future in the restaurant industry.”
— Alexandra Wells '21, Culinary Arts and Restaurant, Food & Beverage Management

Magnus Thorsson

Associate Professor Magnus Thorsson, Ph.D., '94
Magnus Thorsson grew up in Iceland where he became interested in energy efficiency and sustainability. Drawing on his Hotel Management studies at JWU (as well as subsequent work in the industry), he recently helped create new entrepreneurship programs focusing on climate change, sustainability and cannabis.

“Climate change has pushed us to adapt and learn new systems and new ways to manage operations. There was an opportunity to bring sustainability to the practice of management, so I am engaged right now in both working on turning some of the coursework towards corporate social responsibility and sustainability and also developing courses and a major in climate change adaptation.”

Assistant Professor Walter Zesk, MSEM, MArch
Walter Zesk’s students worked on projects for which they applied the principles of Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) to a business to meet its customers’ needs. Some students worked on design solutions to improve existing personal protective equipment, such as masks, for dealing with COVID-19. “It’s how they feel useful in a time where everything seems so uncertain. And now they’re part of a growing movement of makers working to get much-needed equipment into the hands of medical staff facing severe shortages at the frontlines. It feels good to be a part of a community response to something like this, as opposed to part of a community as a victim. It’s a different mindset.”

Walter Zesk

Associate Professor and Department Chair Cara Sammartino, Ph.D., Assistant Professor Samantha Rosenthal, Ph.D., and Assistant Professor Jonathan Noel, Ph.D.
Due to COVID-19, Zyon Robinson '20, Health Science major, finished her last term virtually from Bermuda, where she is from. She also interned there, testing patients for the virus and its antibodies, and then trained others to perform the tests.
“I picked JWU because I’m able to talk directly with each teacher. I would rather have a personal relationship with a professor than be a number … I enjoyed the teachers that I had. It was a very helpful experience, especially thanks to the people in my departments. Professors Rosenthal, Noel and Sammartino were really amazing.”
Zyon Robinson '20, Health Science

Department Chair and Associate Professor Deana Marzocchi, M.S.
Deana Marzocchi spoke to 2020 graduating Graphic Design students during a virtual gallery show of their work when the in-person show was cancelled due to COVID-19: “My hope for all of you is that you believe in yourselves. Be confident and know that you all possess gifts that you can share with the world. Know that we are here for you and we believe in you. And 2020 will be a year to remember for many reasons, but we will always remember all of you and how you all persevered. It is how you perform in times of adversity that shows true character. And you all are courageous to me. Now go out there and make us super proud.”

PHOTOS TOP TO BOTTOM: MASTER INSTRUCTOR RAINER HIENERWADEL AND SAM FARLEY, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR MAGNUS THORSSON, PH.D., ASSISTANT PROFESSOR WALTER ZESK.

US News, Money, WSJ award badges