Metcalf Cup and Prize

Overview

The Metcalf Cup and $10,000 Prize for Excellence in Teaching is an award created by an endowment gift from the late Dr. Arthur G. B. Metcalf, an alumnus and Trustee of Boston University.

Each fall, the Metcalf Committee invites students, faculty members, and alumni to submit letters recommending current full-time faculty members for consideration for the Metcalf Awards.

“The purpose of the prize,” Dr. Metcalf stated at the time of its creation, “is to establish a systematic procedure for the review of the quality of teaching and the identification and advancement of those members of the faculty who excel as teachers, of which this cup is symbolic.”

2014 Metcalf Cup and Prize Recipient

Stormy Attaway

College of Engineering, Mechanical Engineering

Stormy Attaway photo

Stormy Attaway is winner of of the 2014 Metcalf Cup and Prize (Photo by Mike Spencer, BU Photography)

Stormy Attaway is Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering in the College of Engineering. Her work focuses on the fundamentals of engineering computation and the integration of new technologies and methods to enhance the practice of teaching.

For three decades, Professor Attaway’s wholehearted embrace of educational innovation has enabled students to approach problem solving in entirely new ways. Often the first stop that Mechanical Engineering freshmen make as they begin the major, her introductory programming course is perennially hailed for weaving unique software with a continually evolving lecture style to render complex subject matter approachable—and even enjoyable.

Student evaluations of Professor Attaway’s teaching and advising are routinely peppered with words such as “transformative,” “caring,” “creative,” and “compelling.” Writes one colleague, “Stormy’s extraordinary commitment to advancing the foundation skills . . . for all our freshmen is matched only by her extraordinary capacity and effectiveness to serve as a long-term mentor to her students. I can think of no one who has touched more BU engineering students during the last thirty years.”

Other colleagues are no less complimentary. As the College of Engineering’s Director of Curricular Assessment and Improvement, she enthusiastically works alongside them to help perfect their approaches to engineering instruction, while often employing upper class undergraduates in her courses as learning assistants—itself a training in leadership. The result has been generations of students, fellow faculty, and future teachers across disciplines forever fascinated by the teaching and study of engineering.

Professor Attaway earned her B.S. in Geology from the University of South Carolina, before completing her Master’s in Computer Science and Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies: Computational Mechanics at Boston University. A recipient of the College of Engineering’s Faculty Service Award, she has authored what is considered the definitive text on the use of MATLAB engineering instructional software.