The Michael J. Mungo Distinguished Professor-of-the-Year award is the University of South Carolina's most prestigious award presented annually to an outstanding teacher of undergraduate studies. The name of each award winner is engraved on a permanent plaque housed on the main floor of the Thomas Cooper Library and award recipients receive a check for $20,000 and a certificate.
Dr. Robert Jesselson, the 2010 Mungo Distinguished Professor award winner, joined the University of South Carolina in 1981. For 15 years he was the director of the USC String Project, building the program into one of the largest and most prominent string education programs in the country. He is known to both his fellow faculty and his students as never accepting just "good enough," but rather expects and leads students to be nothing short of their very best. Dr. Jesselson's cello program is noted for its rigor. He requires his students to learn everything about the cello—terminology, techniques and, of course, the music.