Baylor to Honor 1997 Cherry Award Professor Sept. 25

Sept. 4, 1997

WACO, Texas - Baylor University will honor Dr. Mario A. Benitez, distinguished teaching professor in curriculum and instruction at the University of Texas at Austin, at the seventh annual Robert Foster Cherry Awards Banquet at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 25, in the Barfield Drawing Room of the Bill Daniel Student Center.

Benitez is the recipient of the Robert Foster Cherry Chair for Distinguished Teaching for the 1997-1998 academic year at Baylor. He will receive an award of $100,000 and has agreed to teach a week-long series of lectures in the fall and return for the spring semester to teach in residence in Baylor's School of Education.

Benitez was chosen for the Robert Foster Cherry Chair because of his extraordinary teaching abilities and a record of positive, inspiring and long-lasting effect on students. While an acknowledged expert in the areas of curriculum and instruction, he is particularly known for his work on the social and cultural aspects of education.

Naomi Wessman, Benitez' teaching assistant at UT, says of her mentor, "A class with Dr. Benitez is an encounter with a man passionately concerned with education. He exudes enthusiasm for the subject that exceeds anything I have seen. Several times he received applause for his presentations."

Benitez served as Chair of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at UT Austin from 1985-89. He was awarded the Distinguished Teaching professorship in 1995. His list of teaching awards includes the Chancellor's Council Distinguished Teaching award and the Texas Teaching Excellence Award. He was named as a top 12 distinguished professor at UT and is a founding member of the Distinguished Teaching Academy at the university.

The late Robert Foster Cherry, a graduate of Baylor in 1929, entered the Baylor School of Law in 1932 and passed the Texas Bar Exam in 1933. He established the awards before his death to honor great teachers and to expose Baylor students to the world's greatest teachers.

The banquet is open to the public and tickets are $15. For reservations or more information, call the Cherry Awards office at (254) 710-2923.

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