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UT professor selected as one of three finalists for $250,000 national teaching award

A leadership scholar at The University of Toledo is a finalist for a prestigious national teaching award.

Dr. Clinton Longenecker, Distinguished University Professor and director of the Center for Leadership and Organizational Excellence in the UT College of Business and Innovation, is one of three finalists selected for Baylor University’s 2018 Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching.

Longenecker

The other finalists are Dr. Heidi Elmendorf, associate professor of biology at Georgetown University, and Dr. Neil Garg, professor of chemistry at UCLA.

The Cherry Award is the only national teaching award — with the single largest monetary reward of $250,000 — presented by a college or university to an individual for exceptional teaching.

“To be selected as one of three finalists for this prestigious award is an absolute honor, and I’m very proud to represent The University of Toledo on this national stage,” Longenecker said. “I’ve considered my entire career to be a privilege, an opportunity to make a difference, and a blessing to be able to teach adult learners how to improve their skills and career trajectory.”

As Cherry Award finalists, each professor will receive $15,000, as well as $10,000 for their home departments to foster the development of teaching skills. Each finalist will present a series of lectures at Baylor during fall 2017 and also a Cherry Award lecture on their home campuses during the upcoming academic year.

The Cherry Award winner, which will be announced by Baylor in 2018, will receive $250,000 and an additional $25,000 for his or her home department and will teach in residence at Baylor during fall 2018 or spring 2019.

“With close to 100 nominees from a very strong field, the Cherry Committee had the difficult task of naming three finalists for the 2018 Cherry Award,” said Dr. Michael W. Thompson, committee chair and associate dean for undergraduate programs in Baylor’s School of Engineering and Computer Science. “It is gratifying and inspirational to learn about each nominee’s accomplishments and dedication to great teaching. The three finalists for the 2018 award are excellent scholars and great teachers, and we look forward to hosting their campus visits during the fall 2017 semester.”

The 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. Individuals nominated for the award have proven records as extraordinary teachers with positive, inspiring and long-lasting effects on students, along with records of distinguished scholarship.

“Dr. Longenecker is a UT alumnus who makes a difference every day for his students as an effective and passionate classroom leader,” UT President Sharon L. Gaber said. “This is a well-deserved honor, and we wish him luck through the Cherry Award experience.”

“I’m greatly humbled by this recognition as I work in a student-centered institution with lots of great teachers,” Longenecker said. “For me, teaching isn’t about just presenting information to my students. Rather, it is all about helping students improve their motivation, their integration and mastery of important ideas, concepts and practices, as well as their application to be able to do the things necessary to be successful with their careers and personal lives. In the final analysis, teaching is all about transforming students, and as a comprehensive University that is what we do and do well across all disciplines.”

Longenecker has received more than 60 teaching, service and research awards and numerous industry awards. In 2013, he was recognized by The Economist as one of the “Top 15 Business Professors in the World.”

His teaching, research and consulting interests are in high-performance leadership and creating great organizations. Longenecker has published more than 190 articles and papers in academic and professional journals, as well as several best-selling books. His latest book, “The Successful Career Survival Guide,” was published in March.