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Nov. 18, 2004

 

Coppola recognized as 2004 State Professor of the Year

ANN ARBOR, Mich—One of the most admired teachers at the University of Michigan, chemistry professor Brian Coppola is the 2004 Professor of the Year for the state of Michigan.

The award, announced today (Nov. 18), is given by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching for outstanding teaching, commitment to undergraduate students and influence on teaching.


Coppola
Coppola has won many teaching awards, including the 1994 Golden Apple Award, voted on by undergraduates for teachers who “consistently present each lecture as if it were their last, and strive not only to disseminate knowledge but to inspire and engage students in its pursuit.”

Coppola was appointed an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor in 2001, which also recognizes outstanding undergraduate teaching, and received the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts Dean's Excellence in Teaching Award in 1991-1997. He earned his doctorate in 1984 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and joined the U-M faculty in 1986.

Provost Paul N. Courant nominated Coppola for the award. "Professor Coppola is richly deserving of this honor," Courant said. “He is an inspiring teacher, challenging his students and faculty colleagues to reach for excellence. The way in which he has engaged his department in undergraduate teaching is a model for all of us. We are extremely proud that he is part of the University of Michigan.”

James Duderstadt, president emeritus, says that Coppola has had an extraordinary impact on both the scholarship of teaching in science and the development of the next generation of college faculty.

“Brian is not only one of our most outstanding teachers of undergraduate courses, but he has also provided leadership in defining and building important graduate programs that address the scholarship of science teaching itself,” Duderstadt said.

Coppola says he is particularly honored to be selected in this competition, because it is juried by a diverse group of individuals on a national scale, ranging from members of the press corps to the Senior Scholars at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

“The award is also extremely affirming of the work I have been doing over the past decade, namely, to help advance and improve undergraduate education through a program that identifies and provides opportunities for students—from undergraduates through post-doctorals—who are thinking of one day pursuing academic careers,” Coppola said. “I would also like to acknowledge the incredible environment of support that my departmental and University colleagues have provided over the years. The University of Michigan is a terrific place for moving ideas in practice, even when the ideas are sometimes pretty far outside the box.”

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, an independent policy and research center, was founded by Andrew Carnegie in 1905 and chartered in 1906 by an act of Congress. Its primary mission is “to do and perform all things necessary to encourage, uphold, and dignify the profession of the teacher and the cause of higher education.” For more information on-line, go to http://www.carnegiefoundation.org.

CASE, celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2004, is the largest international association of education institutions, serving more than 3,000 universities, colleges, schools, and related organizations in 46 countries. It is the leading resource for professional development, information, and standards in the fields of education fund raising, communications, and alumni relations. For more information, go on-line to http://www.case.org.

For more information about the Professor of the Year awards contact Joye Mercer Barksdale, (202) 478-5680 or barksdale@case.org

Contact: Joel Seguine
Phone: (734) 936-6396
E-mail: jseguine@umich.edu