Teaching Awards

Baylor Centennial Professor Award

2021 Winners:

  • Dr. Michael-John DePalma, associate professor of English and coordinator of the Professional Writing and Rhetoric Program
  • Dr. Lesley McAllister, professor of Piano and director of Piano Pedagogy


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

2022 Winner:

Dr. Hollylynne S. Lee, Distinguished Professor of Mathematics and Statistics Education at North Carolina State University


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

2021 Winner:

Dr. Paul Zinke, senior lecturer in Chemistry


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

2021 Winner:

Dr. Mia Moody-Ramirez, professor and chair of Journalism, Public Relations and New Media


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 with recommendations via committee (BUPP703, Aug 2013).


  • Robert L. Reid, professor of History
  • Ann V. Miller, professor of English


  • Emerson O. Henke, professor of Accounting
  • Angus S. McSwain Jr., professor of Law
  • Robert G. Packard, professor of Physics
  • James W. Parsons, professor of Accounting


  • Robert M. Baird, professor 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 of Sociology
  • David E. Pennington, professor of Chemistry
  • James W. Vardaman, professor of History


  • F. Ray Wilson II, professor of Biology
  • Helen H. Ligon, professor of Information Systems


  • 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


  • D. Thomas Hanks Jr., professor of English
  • Gerald R. Powell, professor of Law


  • 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


  • Robert Darden, professor of Journalism, Public Relations and New Media and founder/director of the Black Gospel Music Restoration Project
  • Anne-Marie Schultz, professor of Philosophy and director of the Baylor Interdisciplinary Core
  • Charles A. Weaver, professor and chair of Psychology & Neuroscience

(job titles and appointments at time of award)