Two Women Are in the Running for the 2014 Cherry Award for Great Teaching

cherryBaylor University in Waco, Texas, has announced three finalists for the 2014 Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching. Each finalist receives a $15,000 cash prize as well as a $10,000 award for their academic department at their college or university to foster the development of teaching skills. Each finalist will present a series of lectures on the Baylor campus this fall. The winner, selected from among the three finalists, will receive a $250,000 prize and a one-year visiting professorship at Baylor. The winner will also receive an additional $25,000 for his or her academic department.

Robert Foster Cherry earned his bachelor’s degree from Baylor University in 1929. He enrolled in the Baylor Law School in 1932 and passed the Texas State Bar Examination the following year. With a deep appreciation for how his life had been changed by significant teachers, he made an exceptional estate bequest to establish the Cherry Award program to recognize excellent teachers and bring them in contact with Baylor University students. The first Robert Foster Cherry Award was made in 1991.

Two of the three finalists this year are women:

meera_largeMeera Chandrasekhar is the Curator’s Teaching Professor of physics at the University of Missouri. She has taught at the university for 35 years. She is a graduate of Mysore University in India. She holds a master’s degree from the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras and a second master’s degree and a Ph.D. in physics from Brown University.

Professor Chandrasekhar has received numerous teaching awards throughout her academic career. Her research interest focus on optical spectroscopy of semiconductors, superconductors, and conjugated polymers.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJoan Breton Connelly is a professor of classics and art history at New York University. She joined the NYU faculty in 1986 after serving as a lecturer and assistant dean of the undergraduate college at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania.

Dr. Connelly is a graduate of Princeton University. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. from Bryn Mawr. She is the author of the award-winning book Portrait of a Priestess: Women and Ritual in Ancient Greece (Princeton University Press, 2007.

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