Cherry Award Finalist Michael Salemi Will Lecture on National Debt

Oct. 17, 2013
Dr. Michael Salemi2014 Cherry Award finalist Michael Salemi, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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WACO, Texas (Oct. 17, 2013) - Baylor University's Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching program will feature its second of three finalists, Michael Salemi, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, in a lecture Monday, Oct. 21.

His lecture on "Debt and Taxes" will take place from 4 to 5 p.m. in Kayser Auditorium of the Hankamer School of Business, 1428 S. Fifth St.

Salemi has had "a long standing interest in economic education," he wrote on his webpage. He has served as assistant director of the Center for Economic Education at the University of Minnesota, director of the Teacher Training Workshop sponsored by the American Economic Association (AEA) and the National council on Economic Education, and chair of the AEA Committee on Economic Education.

The Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching honors outstanding professors in the English-speaking world who are distinguished for their ability to communicate as classroom teachers. Individuals nominated for the award should have a proven record as an extraordinary teacher with a positive, inspiring and long-lasting effect on students, along with a record of distinguished scholarship.

Each Cherry Award finalist will receive $15,000 and will be invited to present a series of lectures at Baylor University and on their home campuses. In addition, the home department of the finalists will receive $10,000 to foster the development of pedagogical skills. The winner of the Cherry Award will receive an additional $250,000 plus $25,000 in funding for his or her home department and will teach in residence at Baylor University during the fall of 2014 or spring of 2015.

Tisha Emerson, Ph.D., professor and associate chair of economics in Baylor's Hankamer School of Business, worked with Salemi doing workshops with the Teaching Innovations Program, in which they taught economics professors better methods of teaching.

Emerson wrote a letter of reference for Salemi to receive the Cherry Award "partly because he is a great teacher," she said. "I've heard him speak a number of times and I always end up thinking, 'Oh my gosh, it's always better than the time before.'"

"But it's beyond that," she said. "I think anybody who's nominated is sort of awesome in the classroom."

Emerson compared Salemi to the 2010 Cherry Award winner Edward B. Burger, Ph.D., who was then Distinguished Professor of Mathematics and Gaudino Scholar at Williams College in Massachusetts and is now president of Southwestern University.

"Part of what made Ed's time here special was that he didn't just come and teach his classes," she said. "He started a series of luncheons where instructors from across campus got together and talk about innovative teaching to start a larger dialogue rather than just being in this department."

Emerson believes Salemi would come to Baylor University with similar goals that would benefit students, professors and the university itself.

Salemi will give his lecture, "Debt and Taxes," in which he addresses the question of if and how much government debt can be reduced.

"It's so relevant to everything that we're dealing with in our country right now," Emerson said. "Should we be incurring this debt? Who's going to pay for it? Are the taxes going to go up?

"How will decisions now feed back into the economy? These issues are important both for our generation and future generations. It's certainly relevant for all students."

And while preparing for the lecture, Salemi made sure he would be able to reach students of all majors, Emerson said.

For more information on the lecture and the award, visit http://www.baylor.edu/cherry_awards/.

by Rachel Miller, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805

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