Two NEA-member college and university educators who emphasize hands-on research and teamwork have been named national winners of the 2009 U.S. Professors of the Year Awards.
Rob Thomas, a geology professor at the University of Montana Western was named Outstanding Baccalaureate Colleges Professor of the Year. Richard L. Miller, professor of psychology at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, was named College Professor of the Year. They are NEA higher education members through their respective local Associations, the University of Montana-Western Faculty Association, and the University of Nebraska-Kearney Education Association.
The Professor of the Year awards, from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, are intended to recognize professors for their commitment to undergraduate students. The other national winners are Brian P. Coppola, chemistry professor at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and Tracey McKenzie, professor of sociology at Collin College, Frisco, Texas.
“Finding ways to involve undergraduate students in that critical examination and expansion of the knowledge base,” drives Miller, he said in his acceptance speech. “As a teacher, I think my greatest satisfaction comes when I’m able to help students see the value of an educated heart.”
In addition to the four national winners, state-level Professors of the Year have been recognized in 36 states, the District of Columbia, and Guam.