Boston University Physics Professor Receives National Teaching Honor

in News Releases, Science & Technology, University Affairs
November 13th, 2001

Contact: Bob Zalisk, 617/353-7628 |

Boston, Mass. — The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) have named Boston University physics professor Kevin Smith the 2001 Massachusetts Professor of the Year. Professor Smith was selected for the honor from six Massachusetts nominees and was among nearly 400 faculty members nominated nationwide.

Professor Smith teaches at all levels in the Department of Physics at Boston University, from non-major freshman to advanced graduate students, and is academic director of BU’s Center for Excellence in Teaching. His teaching ability was recognized in 1999 when he won Boston University’s highest teaching award, the Metcalf Cup and Prize for Excellence in Teaching. Professor Smith is also an internationally recognized researcher in solid state and surface physics who has published over 60 research papers. His current work is supported by the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, and the U.S. Army Research Office.

Boston University Provost Dennis Berkey applauded the award: “Kevin Smith is the consummate teacher – demanding of his students, yet fully supportive of their learning needs and efforts. This award confirms the wisdom of his selection as the first faculty member charged with leading our new Center for Excellence in Teaching.”

CASE established the Professors of the Year program in 1981 and works in cooperation with the Carnegie Foundation and various higher education associations in its administration. This year’s winners are from 45 states and the District of Columbia. Prof. Smith was selected from 384 faculty members nominated by colleges and universities throughout the country.

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching was founded in 1905 by Andrew Carnegie. The Foundation is the only advanced study center for teachers in the world and the third oldest foundation in the nation. The Council for Advancement and Support of Education is the largest international association of educational institutions, with nearly 2,900 colleges, universities, and independent elementary and secondary schools in 44 countries.

Boston University is an international leader in undergraduate education, advanced research, and professional studies. With nearly 29,000 students – from all 50 states and 140 nations – BU is the fourth-largest independent university in the U.S. Its faculty numbers more than 3,000 scholars, teachers, and researchers. It is the only university in the world with three Nobel laureates teaching in the humanities. BU’s Center for Excellence in Teaching was established to promote exemplary teaching methods, and cultivates teachers who have the ability to motivate students to become life-long learners.

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