Professors Receive National Award
For dance professor Cornelius Carter, being named 2001 U.S. Professor of the Year last month was not just a personal triumph or a victory for his institution, the University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa), but a milestone for the field of dance as well.
“I felt so proud that dance was viewed with the same merit as every other discipline,” says Carter, just days after receiving the award at a ceremony at the National Press Club in Washington. “I finally felt critiqued and valued under the same light that we view science, math or computers.”
Carter and three other professors were selected from nearly 400 nominations to receive the national award for their dedication to teaching, commitment to students and innovation instructional methods. Presented by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), the U.S. Professors of the Year is the only national program that recognizes college and university professors for their teaching.
“Through their remarkable efforts inside and outside the classroom, these professors have profoundly changed the lives of their students,” says Vance T. Peterson, vice president of CASE. “They are marvelous teachers who have inspired and motivated their students and have helped them build bridges between their students and their lives.”
Carter, who has taught modern dance, choreography, and jazz in the University of Alabama’s College of Arts and Sciences for nine years, says his students have been “jumping up and down” with enthusiasm since he received the honor.
“To watch Professor Carter teach a class is to witness the joy, enthusiasm, skill and caring of a consummate professional dancer and educator,” says Dr. Robert F. Olin, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “Students love his classes because they learn from (him) the joy that comes from discovery and hard work.”
The other winners are: Dr. Vincent Wilczynski, associate professor of mechanical engineering at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn.; Dr. Clarence Romero, associate professor of psychology at Riverside Community College in California; and Dr. Laura Duhan Kaplan, associate professor of philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
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