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Engineering’s Glenn Ellis Named U.S. Professor of the Year

For Glenn W. Ellis, associate professor of engineering, teaching students in the Picker Engineering Program and conducting his research in engineering go hand in hand.

Glenn W. Ellis was recently honored with the countryÕs only national award for excellence in undergraduate teaching and mentoring. Photo by Edward Judice.

They are symbiotic components of a larger commitment that combines technology and the humanities, science with the liberal arts, to provide tomorrow’s engineers with insight and flexibility that extends well beyond rote equations and algorithms.

Specifically, Ellis’ research involves engineering education, primarily exploring the best ways to impart the concepts and principles of engineering to engender deep, contextual understanding of not only the mechanics of our built environment, but also of the ethics, philosophies and history surrounding what humans create.

Perhaps it’s logical, given his committed interest in the most effective methods of pedagogy, that in November he was named the Outstanding Baccalaureate Colleges Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) -- the only national award given for excellence in undergraduate teaching and mentoring. Ellis was presented with the award at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. The award includes a $5,000 gift.

The U.S. Professor of the Year program annually salutes a select few of the most outstanding undergraduate instructors in the country -- those who positively influence the lives and careers of students.

Ellis views the honor of the U.S. Professor of the Year Award as a validation of the Picker program’s broad approach to engineering education.

“This is a really great chance for the world to see our program,” he says. “It’s exciting. I see it really as an honor for the college and for the Picker program.”

Ellis, who has become a national leader in engineering education, was honored in April 2006 with Smith’s Kathleen Compton Sherrerd ’54 and John J. F. Sherrerd Prize for Distinguished Teaching. He also received awards for teaching at Clarkson University, where he previously taught.

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