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Thank you gift for professor

minirhyderminirhyder NYCRegistered User regular
edited August 2011 in Help / Advice Forum
I've had a professor help me get accepted into a mater's program. It's a long complicated story, but basically I wanted to transfer from one program to another, and it was a bureaucratic nightmare and a general pain in the ass, for the both of us I'm sure. Basically she's helped me out a lot and I'd like to show her I appreciate it.
But I don't know what would be an appropriate thing to get. Like at all. I've never gotten anything for a professor, and this is just new territory for me.

I'd like to stray away from gift cards because they're kinda lame and I don't know where she shops anyway.

Thanks in advance!

Posts

  • EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Spending too much money eating out. That's about it. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited August 2011
    Maybe something related to their field? Maybe a gift certificate to a restaurant they'd like?

    Esh on
    "At first he thought it might be a natural occurrence - maybe a rabbit. But upon closer inspection, it was clear a knife had been used. And rabbits don't carry knives."

    Final Fantasy XIV:Lilja Sunblade
  • lessthanpilessthanpi Registered User regular
    There's a strong possibility she couldn't accept anything you give her due to ethical guidelines.

    This is especially true if she is a faculty member in your new program and it might look like you're trying to buy her influence.

    Be careful about this, you might be putting her into an awkward situation.

    A well written thank you note its likely your best course of action.

  • ED!ED! Registered User regular
    If shes not in his department and wont have any participation in any of his future classes - then a gift isn't going to run afoul of any academic ethics issues.

    "Get the hell out of me" - [ex]girlfriend
  • minirhyderminirhyder NYCRegistered User regular
    Ah well..she will be in my department and I'll likely be doing research with her.
    Totally had not occurred to me, so thank you for pointing that out.

    I suppose then that this would be more appropriate come graduation time? Or just not at all ever?

  • EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Spending too much money eating out. That's about it. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    minirhyder wrote:
    Ah well..she will be in my department and I'll likely be doing research with her.
    Totally had not occurred to me, so thank you for pointing that out.

    I suppose then that this would be more appropriate come graduation time? Or just not at all ever?

    Yeah, no gift. But a card, definitely.

    "At first he thought it might be a natural occurrence - maybe a rabbit. But upon closer inspection, it was clear a knife had been used. And rabbits don't carry knives."

    Final Fantasy XIV:Lilja Sunblade
  • Skoal CatSkoal Cat Registered User
    You have expressed your gratitude in person, right? Then that and maybe a card is pretty much it.

    ceres wrote: »
    Skoal Cat is correct.
  • ceresceres Just your problem OoSuper Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited August 2011
    Professors at my school can accept gifts from students which are worth under a certain (ridiculously low) dollar amount. There is probably a policy in place, it's probably just a matter of finding out what it is. A professor of mine had a set of magnets he could use in class that he loved, and mentioned once was a gift from a student. Things like mugs are pretty common, as well.

    Even if you don't want to do anything like that, a thank-you note is a very good idea.

    ceres on
    I've got my own life and I've got my own plans
    I hope you understand, and like the way that I am
  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    A bottle of wine is a pretty acceptable gift. Even if they don't like wine, it's super easy to re-gift.

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    If you at all handy with a pen, up your penmanship for your note. Hit up a site like dafont.com and riff off of some calligraphy fonts. Buying some nice paper for it helps too, basically make it a very thoughtful card and you'd be surprised how much it will be appreciated it despite the simplicity of the gift. Type up what ever you are going so you don't ramble on/have to scratch out anything, then write it out by hand.

    lma_iphone_icon.pngAA_iphone_icon.pngtwittersolid.pngtumbrsolid.png
  • BobCescaBobCesca Registered User regular
    When my Supervisor and another member of academic staff (who happened to be his wife) helped me out with an application in double-quick time I sent them a gift basket (flowers, chocolates and a bottle of wine) which seemed to be appreciated.

  • HK5HK5 Registered User
    You could write her boss/head of department a letter telling them what a great help she's been. I think people under-utilize this when they receive good service in any capacity. It can help with job security down the line, might help her get promoted, etc. Just tell them that you know professors aren't allowed to receive gifts of monetary value but you wanted to do something to express your appreciation because she made a big difference.

  • MagicToasterMagicToaster Registered User regular
    A box of Godiva assorted chocolates, if they dont eat chocholate they could always share them with their co-workers.

    tostadas.png
  • geniagenia Registered User
    You're so nice to want to give something back! Here are a few things that might be solid:

    - A thank you note and an offer to write a letter of reference in the future. Professors are often up for fellowships, teaching awards, etc, many of which request letters of rec from previous students.
    - I second the suggestion of mugs / simple gifts, by @ceres
    - Bake her cookies, or brownies, or muffins, or something else homemade. I've made professors brownies before and they were very appreciated for a mid-research snack.

  • EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Spending too much money eating out. That's about it. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    ceres wrote:
    Professors at my school can accept gifts from students which are worth under a certain (ridiculously low) dollar amount. There is probably a policy in place, it's probably just a matter of finding out what it is. A professor of mine had a set of magnets he could use in class that he loved, and mentioned once was a gift from a student. Things like mugs are pretty common, as well.

    Even if you don't want to do anything like that, a thank-you note is a very good idea.

    I got my architecture professor a mug from when I went out to a Frank Lloyd Wright built house here in Oregon. He was a great professor. A pain in the ass and really ambiguous about projects, but a great professor. I don't think anyone could see a mug as some sort of bribe or kickback.

    "At first he thought it might be a natural occurrence - maybe a rabbit. But upon closer inspection, it was clear a knife had been used. And rabbits don't carry knives."

    Final Fantasy XIV:Lilja Sunblade
  • LilnoobsLilnoobs Alpha Queue Registered User regular
    I've gotten a fancy pen, david bowie magnets, and a home-made drawing as gifts from students. Always a surprise, and always pleasant =)

  • Mr HeistMr Heist Registered User regular
    At my college we had a pretty great conductor for the vocal groups. Word was he was leaving at the end of the year, so I student lead the charge to have everyone chip in and we got him a very nice engraved pocket watch. They walked out and presented it to him at the end of the last concert along with a heartfelt thanks. Turns out he wasn't leaving, and he wasn't sure where the rumor had started. He couldn't give back the gift since it was engraved (and I think the engraving was something like "We'll miss you!") so the whole thing was super awkward.

    Found out the following year that he was leaving, so everyone chipped in to get him a fancy conductor's baton. Turns out he wasn't leaving again, more awkwardness ensued. Luckily the trend didn't continue (he's still there- would have amassed an awkwardly large pile of gifts by now!)

    I agree that, especially if you can't think of something that really fits them (ties in to their field or fits in well with what you know of them), you could do a lot worse than a nice, heartfelt letter. Especially going to a teacher- someone who essentially got into the field of changing lives- getting feedback that they made such an impact can be pretty much the best thing.

    mrheist-wide.png
  • EggyToastEggyToast Registered User regular
    I've attended many secret santas where faculty members and their students all swapped gifts. No one seemed to bat an eye at the idea of a professor getting a gift from their student.

    I'm not saying it doesn't matter, but getting a consumable for someone is both smart (because it will be consumed) and my impression is that it's not so much a gift of "do this for me" but "thank you, let's celebrate."

    Plus a bottle of wine won't necessarily broadcast its price.

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