Teaching Awards

Baylor Centennial Professor Award

2018 Winners:

  • Dr. Beth Allison Barr, Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director of History in the College of Arts and Sciences
  • Dr. Angela Reed, Associate Professor of Practical Theology and Director of Spiritual Formation at George W. Truett Theological Seminary
  • Dr. Rishi Sriram, Associate Professor of Educational Leadership in the School of Education


The Centennial Professors Award was created by the Baylor Class of 1945. The award provides two tenured faculty members with $5,000 for projects proposed as part of the application process. Eligible projects are those that would facilitate the development of a faculty member's ability to function as a university professor and contribute to academic life, and which would, therefore, be of benefit to the individual and the University. Such projects might include foreign or domestic travel for study or research, the development of innovative teaching materials, or other professional development activities.

Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching

2018 Winner:

Dr. Neil K. Garg, professor of chemistry at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)


The Robert Foster Cherry Award program is designed to honor great teachers, to stimulate discussion in the academy about the value of teaching, and to encourage departments and institutions to value their own great teachers. The winner of the Cherry Award will receive a prize of $250,000 and will teach in residence at Baylor University during one of the two subsequent semesters; travel expenses and a furnished apartment will be provided. To further Baylor University's commitment to great teaching, the winner's home department will receive $25,000.

Collins Outstanding Professor Award

2019 Winner:

Dr. Jane Haas Damron, Senior Lecturer of Communication


The Collins Outstanding Professor Award is generously provided by the Carr P. Collins Foundation in order to recognize and honor outstanding teachers at Baylor University. Baylor's current Senior Class elects the Collins Outstanding Professor for each school year.

Cornelia Marschall Smith Professor of the Year Award

2019 Winner:

Dr. Gaynor Yancey, Professor of Social Work


The annual Cornelia Marschall Smith Award is presented to a Baylor faculty member who makes a superlative contribution to the learning environment at Baylor. The Cornelia Marschall Smith Professor of the Year award is based on:

  • Teaching, which is judged to be of the highest order of intellectual acumen and pedagogical effectiveness,
  • Research, which is recognized as outstanding by the national and international, as well as local, community of scholars, and
  • Service, which is regarded as exemplary in building the character of intellectual community at Baylor.

Graduate Student Teaching Award

The Graduate Student Teaching Award, granted twice per year by the Baylor University Graduate School, honors graduate student Teachers of Record who were able to balance their own studies and responsibilities while demonstrating excellence as classroom instructors. Recipients are given the opportunity to attend teaching conferences, as well as a plaque commemorating their achievement.

Award recipients are recognized on the Graduate School website.

Master Teachers

The Master Teacher award is the highest honor bestowed by the university for teaching. The designation is a testimony to a record of "sustained excellence" reflecting "proven knowledge and use of effective teaching methods, plus active advocacy for teaching and learning."

Master Teachers represent:

  1. Knowledge and use of effective and engaging pedagogy
  2. Advocacy for teaching and learning, as reflected by characteristics such as:
    • Passion for teaching and learning
    • Engagement of students - mentoring undergraduates and/or graduates in research, active learning classes, group work, service learning and/or community-based learning
    • Impact beyond nominee’s own courses - e.g., curricular development, mentoring of other faculty colleagues, publications, presentations or web resources
  3. Sustained (minimum 10 years at Baylor University) commitment to teaching excellence.

Master Teacher designations are awarded occasionally, at the discretion of the Office of the President. Only 26 Master Teachers have been named since the designation began in 1982.

  • 1982
    Robert L. Reid, professor emeritus of History
    Ann V. Miller, professor of English
  • 1990
    Emerson O. Henke, professor emeritus of Accounting
    Angus S. McSwain Jr., professor emeritus of Law
    Robert G. Packard, professor emeritus of Physics
    James W. Parsons, professor of Accounting
  • 1993
    Robert M. Baird, professor emeritus of Philosophy
    Jochem F. Burckhardt, professor of German
    Tommye Lou Davis, associate professor of Classics
    David W. Guinn, professor of Law
    Roger E. Kirk, distinguished professor of Psychology and Statistics
    Harold W. Osborne, professor emeritus of Sociology
    David E. Pennington, professor of Chemistry
    James W. Vardaman, professor emeritus of History
  • 2003
    F. Ray Wilson II, professor of Biology
    Helen H. Ligon, professor emeritus of Information Systems
  • 2004
    Rachel Moore, senior lecturer of English
    J. William Petty, professor of Finance
    Alden Smith, professor of Classics, associate dean of the Honors College and director of the University Scholars Program
    William Thomas, professor of Accounting
    Bill Underwood, professor of Law (now president of Mercer University)
  • 2005
    D. Thomas Hanks Jr., professor emeritus of English
    Gerald R. Powell, professor of Law
  • 2016
    Corey P. Carbonara, professor of Film and Digital Media
    T. Laine Scales, professor of Higher Education; associate dean of Graduate Studies and Professional Development
    Gaynor Yancey, professor of Social Work