The Joseph R. Accinno Teaching Award

The Joseph R. Accinno Faculty Teaching Award is presented annually to the faculty member who best exhibits excellence in teaching, passion and enthusiasm for learning, and genuine concern for students’ academic and personal growth. Faculty who have received tenure and are scheduled to teach during the spring semester are eligible for the award. The award program is administered by the Center for Teaching Excellence and the Teaching Award Selection Committee (TASC). The recipient receives a cash stipend, is formally acknowledged at the College’s Academic Convocation in September, and has his or her name inscribed on a plaque that is permanently displayed in the Center for Teaching Excellence.
Teaching Award Process and Criteria

Teaching Award Recipient, 2023-24

Dr. Peter Costello

Peter Costello, Ph.D., professor of philosophy, is the 2023-24 Joseph R. Accinno Faculty Teaching Award recipient. The award is presented annually to the Providence College faculty member “who best exhibits excellence in teaching, passion and enthusiasm for learning, and genuine concern for students’ academic and personal growth.”

Dr. Costello, who has been a member of the PC faculty since 2004, earned his Ph.D. from Penn State University and served on the faculty at Saint Peter’s College in New Jersey from 2001-04. At PC, he has taught various courses in philosophy, public and community service studies, global studies, women’s and gender studies, and the Development of Western Civilization Program. These include Phenomenology, Philosophy and Globalization, Contemporary Women in Philosophy, and Introduction to Public Service.

In his teaching statement, Dr. Costello said a fundamental tenet in his classrooms is his assumption that he can learn from each of his students. “Teaching is really not very effective, I don’t think, if the only thing that gets communicated is that I am the master of the material,” he wrote. “I have to be prepared to play the call and response of jazz — not just to assert myself as soloist.”

It’s this core principle that was cited by one of his student nominators who said Dr. Costello “taught me that my education should not be left up to the sole jurisdiction of my professors.”

“It’s my education … not anyone else’s. He demonstrated this moral principle every day in class, giving us the chance to discuss what compelled us about the reading – not what Professor Costello decided we should find compelling,” the student wrote. “I have never had a professor who cares so much about his students and their rights. He has inspired me and my plans for the future in ways I cannot even put into words. Providence College calls for their students to “seek more,” and no professor calls for their students to “seek more” than Peter Costello.”

More about Dr. Peter Costello:

  • Author of two books: Philosophical Children in Literary Situations: Toward of Phenomenology of Childhood (2020) and Layers in Husserl’s Phenomenology (2012)
  • Former director of the New England Undergraduate Conference in Philosophy at Providence College
  • Member of the American Philosophical Association and the Society for the Phenomenology of Religious Experience (SOPHERE)
  • Areas of academic specialty include 19th and 20th century continental philosophy, phenomenology, existentialism, and philosophy of religion. Other academic interests include ethics, feminism, philosophy and literature, and Catholic intellectual tradition.

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Peter Costello on this well-earned honor!