For Release Upon Receipt - May 1, 2009
Contact: Richard Taffe, 617-353-4626, firstname.lastname@example.org
BOSTON UNIVERSITY RECOGNIZES THREE PROFESSORS MAY 17 FOR EXCELLENCE IN TEACHING HONORS
(Boston) — Boston University announced today it will bestow its highest teaching award at Commencement May 17th to both biology Professor Thomas Gilmore and viola Professor Michelle Lacourse, the 36th and 37th recipients of the Metcalf Cup and Prize for Excellence in Teaching. The university also will recognize natural science Professor Peter Busher as recipient of Metcalf Award for Excellence in Teaching.
“The Metcalf Awards for Excellence in Teaching express our gratitude to the professors recognized by this distinction,” said BU President Robert Brown. “Boston University’s highest teaching honor symbolizes our commitment to exemplary instruction and scholarship.”
The Metcalf Cup carries with it a prize of $10,000. The Metcalf Award winner receives a prize of $5,000. Students, faculty and alumni nominate candidates for the awards established in 1973 by a gift from the late Boston University Board of Trustees chairman emeritus Arthur G.B. Metcalf.
“You need look only at the careers of students who have left my lab to know I must be doing something right,” says Professor Gilmore, a world-famed researcher whose studies have shed light on how some genes turn normal cells into malignant cells. “If you had to find a coherent theme in my interactions with students, it is that I try to let them know that I am not different from them and that they, like me, can succeed and be rewarded by the pursuit of knowledge. But that success requires great effort.”
A native of Uniontown, Pa., Professor Gilmore joined the BU faculty in 1987. He earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Princeton University and a Ph.D in zoology from the University of California at Berkeley. He directs BU’s Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program and his legendary molecular biology laboratory course at BU’s College of Arts and Sciences is the only such biology/ biochemistry & molecular biology undergraduate course where students do original research.
“I have a ceaseless fascination with teaching and learning, and take great delight in discovering how to best approach the unique qualities and challenges presented by each student,” says Professor Lacourse, an accomplished viola player over three decades who chairs the strings department at BU’s College of Fine Arts. “I feel extremely fortunate myself to have studied the viola with teachers who believe in personalized, caring and dedicated mentoring, and I strive to pass along all that I can with that same commitment to each student who comes my way.”
An active solo, chamber music, and orchestral performer, Professor Lacourse joined the BU faculty in 1996. A resident of Northampton, Mass., she previously taught at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, Mass., the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Ball State University, Temple University, and the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore. She earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the Peabody Conservatory, and studied viola at Northwestern University and the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan.
“I have never taught students who ‘wanted’ to take my courses out of their own interests, but have always interacted with students required to complete my courses,” says Professor Busher, whose passion for long-term studies of beaver population patterns has brought international renown. “My approach is to work closely with these students – my students – and encourage them to not only care about their grades, but about their learning and about science as a great adventure and powerful way of knowing.”
A resident of Newburyport, Mass., who grew up in San Francisco, Professor Busher joined the faculty of BU’s College of General Studies in 1982, became chair of its Division of Natural Science in 1991, and designed and launched the College’s natural science summer program in London in 2004 under BU’s International Programs. He earned both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in biology from San Francisco State University and a Ph.D. in biology from the University of Nevada at Reno.
Founded in 1839, Boston University is an internationally recognized institution of higher education and research. With more than 30,000 students, it is the fourth largest independent university in the United States. BU consists of 17 colleges and schools along with a number of multi-disciplinary centers and institutes which are central to the school's research and teaching mission.
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