University of Toledo professor selected as finalist for national teaching award

Benjamin Morse, Staff Reporter

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Distinguished University Professor Clinton Longenecker has been selected as one of three finalists for Baylor University’s 2018 Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching.

Longenecker, as well as working as a professor at the University of Toledo, is also the director of the Center for Leadership and Organizational Excellence in the College of Business and Innovation.

“I have never lifted myself up or tried to secure these awards. Other people have done it for me,” Longenecker said. “The question is, ‘Why do people do that?’ And I think the answer is because I have made my mission to help other people. This has translated into some very cool things for me.”

The two other finalists include, Associate Professor of Biology at Georgetown Heidi Elmendorf and Professor of Chemistry at UCLA Neil Garg.

As stated on Baylor’s website, individuals nominated for the award should have a proven record as an extraordinary teacher with a positive, inspiring and long-lasting effect on students, along with a record of distinguished scholarship.

“It is inspirational to learn about each nominee’s accomplishments and dedication to great teaching,” said Michele Thompson, Baylor’s Cherry Committee chair and associate dean for undergraduate programs in Baylor’s school of engineering and computer science.

With a lengthy curriculum vitae, including the publishing of more than 190 articles and papers in academic and professional journals, several best-selling books and a spot on The Economist’s 2013 “Top 15 Business Professors in the World,” Longenecker meets Baylor’s credentials.

In an interview with UT Media Relations Specialist Christine Billau, UT President Sharon Gaber recognized Longenecker’s deservance.

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

According to a news release, 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 a Cherry Award lecture on their home campuses during the upcoming academic year.

“I always tell people I am a UT product,” said Longenecker. “I am UT. Students and faculty here can compete with anyone on a world stage.”

If announced as the winner by Baylor in spring 2018, Longenecker will receive $250,000 and an additional $25,000 for his home department and will teach in residence at Baylor during fall 2018 or spring 2019.

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University of Toledo professor selected as finalist for national teaching award