Final Cherry Award Finalist to Speak About the Art of Chemistry

Oct. 28, 2011
News Photo 5284Dr. Brian Coppola to present "The Liberal Art of Chemistry: Stories about Human Nature"

Oct. 28, 2011

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Dr. Brian Coppola, The Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Chemistry at the University of Michigan, will present "The Liberal Art of Chemistry: Stories about Human Nature" at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 2, in Room D109 of the Baylor Sciences Building, 101 Bagby Ave.

Coppola is one of three finalists for the Cherry Award, a program designed to recognize exceptional teachers while encouraging others to value teaching. Each finalist receives $15,000, as well as $10,000 for their home department, and is invited to present a series of lectures at Baylor and on their home campuses. The winner of the Cherry Award, to be announced next spring, will receive a monetary prize of $250,000 and the opportunity to teach in residence at Baylor during fall 2012 or spring 2013. The Cherry Award winner's home department will receive an additional $25,000 to foster the development of teaching skills.

After receiving a bachelor's degree from the University of New Hampshire, Coppola earned his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is the co-director and a founder of the Instructional Development and Educational Assessment (IDEA) Institute at the University of Michigan, which is a collaboration to "broaden the scholarly development for all students who are interested in academic careers."

Coppola has won the University of Michigan's "Golden Apple Award" for outstanding teaching, the Undergraduate Computational Science Education Award from the United States Department of Energy, the Amoco Foundation Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and the Kendall-Hunt Outstanding Undergraduate Science Teacher Award from the Society for College Science Teachers. He also was named the State of Michigan Professor of the Year in 2004, and has received the American Chemical Society's James Flack Norris Award for his work that has impacted the field of chemistry education. Most recently, he was chosen as the Carnegie Academy for Science Education U.S. Professor of the Year for doctoral institutions.

Coppola is the last of the finalists to speak at Baylor this fall. Other finalists include Dr. Heather Macdonald, Chancellor Professor of Geology at The College of William and Mary, and Dr. Allen Matusow, The W.G. Twyman Professor of History at Rice University.

About Robert Foster Cherry

The Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching was created by Robert Foster Cherry, who earned his bachelor's degree from Baylor University in 1929. He enrolled at the Baylor Law School in 1932 and passed the Texas State Bar Exam the following year. With an appreciation for how his life had been changed by significant teachers, he made an exceptional estate bequest to establish the Cherry Award program to recognize excellent teachers and bring them in contact with Baylor University students. The first Robert Foster Cherry Award was awarded in 1991.

Recipients of the award are chosen by the Cherry Award Committee, composed of leading academics from across the Baylor campus. Their intent is to continue to build the prominence of the Cherry Award as the most significant honor for an individual who has a proven record for extraordinary teaching.

For more information about the Cherry Award finalists, visit Baylor Cherry Awards .

by Carmen Galvan, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805

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