Director of Communications
Nov. 16, 2006
Winners Saluted for Commitment to Undergraduate Education
WASHINGTON, D.C. – A champion of community colleges, a leading scholar on Chinese studies, the world’s most cited astronomer, and a forensic anthropologist who takes students on crime scene investigations are this year’s national winners of the U.S. Professors of the Year Award.
Sponsored by The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and administered by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, the awards recognize professors for their influence on teaching and their outstanding commitment to teaching undergraduate students.
TIAA-CREF, one of America's leading financial services organizations and higher education's premier retirement system, is the primary sponsor for the awards ceremony. Phi Beta Kappa, an academic honorary, sponsors an evening Congressional reception.
The Professors of the Year will be honored today at a luncheon sponsored by TIAA-CREF at the Willard InterContinental Hotel in Washington, D.C. The four national winners will speak at the luncheon after being introduced by a former or current student. The professors will be available for interviews.
The four national winners are:
The program, created in 1981, is the only national initiative specifically designed to recognize excellence in undergraduate teaching and mentoring.
“This year’s four national Professors of the Year come from quite distinct academic environments, yet, they all share an abiding commitment to student learning, a profound belief in the transformative power of education, a pedagogical approach designed to stimulate creative and critical thinking, and a passionate devotion to their respective fields of study,” says John Lippincott, president of CASE. “They exemplify teaching at its best and, in so doing, remind us of what makes America’s colleges and universities truly great.”
Lee S. Shulman, president of The Carnegie Foundation, says that "at a time when America's universities and colleges are under attack for rising costs and eroding quality, it is reassuring and affirming to recognize these individuals who symbolize higher education's best-kept secret—its outstanding and committed teachers.”
“At all levels of our remarkable system, teachers like these reach the intelligence and spirit of their students,” he added. “Our four professorial awardees are not only representative of higher education at its best, but they also serve as dynamic models of excellence to which all those who educate can strive."
"The professors receiving this distinguished award exemplify the best in education and in our communities," says Nancy Tigner, Vice-President, TIAA-CREF. "In sponsoring this event, we honor our nearly 90-year mission of working on behalf of those who serve the greater good in the academic, research and cultural fields."
State Professors of the Year were also recognized in 43 states, the District of Columbia and Guam.
This year's U.S. Professors of the Year winners were selected from a pool of nearly 300 nominees. Judges select a national winner in each of four categories—baccalaureate colleges, community colleges, doctoral and research universities, and master’s universities and colleges—and then name state winners from entries that meet the program’s demanding criteria.
Other sponsors include the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the American Association of Community Colleges, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, the American Association of University Professors, the Association of Community College Trustees, the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, the Council of Independent Colleges, the National Council of University Research Administrators, and the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities.
Founded by Andrew Carnegie in 1905 and chartered in 1906 by an Act of Congress, The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching is an independent policy and research center with a primary mission "to do and perform all things necessary to encourage, uphold and dignify the profession of the teacher." The improvement of teaching and learning is central to all of the work of the foundation.
The Council for Advancement and Support of Education is a professional association serving educational institutions and the advancement professionals who work on their behalf in alumni relations, communications, development, marketing and allied areas.
CASE was founded in 1974 and maintains headquarters in Washington, D.C., with offices in London (CASE Europe, 1994), Singapore (CASE Asia-Pacific, 2007) and Mexico City (CASE América Latina, 2011).
Today, CASE’s membership includes more than 3,600 colleges and universities, primary and secondary independent and international schools, and nonprofit organizations in 76 countries around the globe. This makes CASE one of the world’s largest nonprofit educational associations in terms of institutional membership. CASE serves more than 70,000 advancement professionals on the staffs of its member institutions and has more than 17,000 professional members on its roster.
To fulfill their missions and to meet both individual and societal needs, colleges, universities and independent schools rely on—and therefore must foster—the good will, active involvement, informed advocacy and enduring support of alumni, donors, prospective students, parents, government officials, community leaders, corporate executives, foundation officers and other external constituencies.
CASE helps its members build stronger relationships with all of these constituencies by providing relevant research, supporting growth in the profession and fostering support of education. CASE also offers a variety of advancement products and services, provides standards and an ethical framework for the profession and works with other organizations to respond to public issues of concern while promoting the importance of education worldwide.
The TIAA-CREF family of companies is a prominent financial services organization dedicated to providing lifetime financial security to those in the healthcare, academic, cultural and research fields; for people whose work serves others. An organization with $495 billion in assets under management as of Sept. 30, 2012, TIAA-CREF has more than 3.7 million participants in more than 27,000 plans and 15,000 public and private institutions.