Professor goes above and beyond to leave enduring legacy of academic excellence

October 05, 2020

Jonathan Blake

In the 20 years since joining the Quinnipiac family, Professor Jonathan Blake’s task of creating a cutting-edge computer science program has evolved more than he could have ever imagined.

He has played a vital role in developing four undergraduate degrees, a master’s degree and the School of Engineering.

“Early on, I realized that excellence in education is a journey, not a destination,” said Blake.

His dedication to teaching and creating new programs has provided students an improved flexibility to expand their education through double majoring and facilitated their pathways to success.

For his efforts, he is being recognized with the university’s most prestigious faculty award, the Center for Excellence in teaching.

“He took me into his office with open arms, sat with me for about an hour and a half, and helped me with my assignment,” said Simona Panno ’20, a member of our School of Engineering’s honor’s society. “From that point forward, we built an awesome relationship and he is still one of my favorite engineering professors — and I never even had him as an actual professor.”

One of the guiding principles Blake stands by is to promote comfort for his students.

“Professor Blake understands that being put on the spot can induce anxiety and cause students to shut down," said Madeline LePage ’21. "He genuinely wants to provide an ideal learning environment.”

Blake was also commended for his continued effort to meet students at their level of understanding.

“He has taught me to think in new ways that ultimately made me realize that I can learn anything, despite the complexity of the subject,” said Tyler DeGennaro ’20, MS ’21. “Professor Blake taught me that it is important to be a multidimensional thinker and learner in all subjects, not just computer science.”

Blake teaches his students in a non-traditional approach, helping them absorb as much content as possible.

“He’s not just standing up at the front of the class scribbling notes, he’s bouncing from whiteboard to whiteboard, table to table, asking for input and suggestions,” LePage explained.

The professor’s enthusiasm and charisma extends well beyond the classroom — and onto the Ultimate Frisbee field, a sport he played competitively for three decades.

Despite his numerous accomplishments, Blake has a simple way of measuring success.

“Love where you are, love what you are doing in life and love the people in your life,” he said. “Given these criteria, I can absolutely say that I am successful.”

Center for Excellence in Teaching and Service to Students

School of Engineering

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