Nov 25, 2009

Top US Professors Recognized for Extraordinary Performance in Undergraduate Education

WASHINGTON, DC—The Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) in collaboration with the Carnegie Foundation annually recognizes excellence in undergraduate teaching and mentoring through the U.S. Professors of the Year Award. Selection criteria include: 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 as well as current and former undergraduate students.

This year, four college and university educators were honored:

  • Brian P. Coppola, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • Tracey McKenzie, Collin College, Frisco, Texas
  • Richard L. Miller, University of Nebraska at Kearney
  • Robert C. Thomas, University of Montana Western

In addition to the national winners, state-level professors of the year were recognized in 36 states, the District of Columbia, and Guam. Local winners included Joan B. Riley, Georgetown University (DC); Susan Bontems, Montgomery College (MD); and Kevin Hamed, Virginia Highlands Community College (VA).

Winners of these awards speak volumes about the institutions they represent. These are colleges and universities that value quality undergraduate teaching and mentoring. Note how the list of previous years’ institutional winners differs from other more “commercial” rating systems:



Doctoral & Research Universities

Master’s Universities and Colleges


U of Montana Western

University of Michigan

U of NebraskaKearney


Lewis & Clark College

Kansas State University

U of Central Oklahoma


Smith College

Kansas State University

LSU Shreveport


Reed College

UC Berkeley

Radford University


College of Wooster

University of Michigan

California State University


Williams College

U of Colorado-Boulder

Eastern Connecticut State


Hendrix College


Lynchburg College


Manchester College

University of Notre Dame

Santa Clara University


US Coast Guard Academy

U of Alabama

UNC Charlotte


College of the Holy Cross

Indiana University

University of Portland

For college applicants, it’s mostly a matter of what’s important to you. If excellence in teaching figures in the equation, look beyond artificial measures of prestige and investigate how well institutions deliver the goods.

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