Director of Communications
For Immediate Release
Nov. 20, 2008
Winners Saluted for Extraordinary Performance in Undergraduate Education
Washington, D.C.-Four college and university educators who actively involve their undergraduate students in hands-on research are the national winners of the 2008 U.S. Professors of the Year Awards.
Administered by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and sponsored by The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, the awards recognize professors for their influence on teaching and their commitment to undergraduate students. In addition to the four national winners, state-level Professors of the Year are being recognized in 44 states, the District of Columbia and Guam.
All of the 2008 U.S. Professors of the Year will be honored today at a luncheon and awards ceremony at the Willard InterContinental Washington in Washington, D.C. National winners will offer remarks after they are introduced by former students.
The four national winners are:
The U.S. Professors of the Year program, created in 1981, is the only national initiative specifically designed to recognize excellence in undergraduate teaching and mentoring.
John Lippincott, president of CASE, said this year's national and state winners are outstanding teachers whose passion for teaching and commitment to student learning represent the best in undergraduate education.
"Great professors transform their students' lives by transmitting their passion for learning," Lippincott said. "This year's U.S. Professors of the Year have demonstrated not just a profound knowledge of their disciplines but genuine excitement for their work, excitement that is compelling and contagious for those fortunate enough to study with them. We celebrate these professors' achievements, not in the laboratory or the library, but in the classroom where they have made the most important contribution of all; they have made lives better."
Anthony Bryk, president of The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, also noted the winners' innovative teaching styles and contributions. He added that the national U.S. Professors of the Year share a common trait.
"All four of our national winners have made serious and successful efforts to engage students in undergraduate research, to actively involve them in the practices of their disciplines," Bryk said. "They've approached this in various ways, from bringing students into their research labs or their writing lives as collaborators to giving them field-based, hands-on experiences outside the classroom."
This year's U.S. Professors of the Year award winners were selected from a pool of nearly 300 nominees. Judges select national and state winners based on four criteria: impact on and involvement with undergraduate students; scholarly approach to teaching and learning; contributions to undergraduate education in the institution, community and profession; and support from colleagues and current and former undergraduate students.
TIAA-CREF, a financial services and retirement investment organization, is the primary sponsor of the awards ceremony. Phi Beta Kappa, an academic honorary, will sponsor an evening Congressional reception for the winners at the Folger Shakespeare Library.
Other sponsors of the awards program are 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 Jesuit Colleges and Universities, the Council of Independent Colleges and the National Council of University Research Administrators.
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 82 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 74,000 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.