TOPS IN TEACHING: Boas Honored as 2012 Presidential Professor
COLLEGE STATION -- Dr. Harold P. Boas, professor of mathematics, has been named a Presidential Professor for Teaching Excellence at Texas A&M University.
Boas was honored at weekend commencement ceremonies along with his fellow award-winning colleague, Dr. Patricia Goodson, professor of health and kinesiology and director of POWER (Promoting Outstanding Writing for Excellence in Research) Services in the College of Education and Human Development.
"Dr. Boas and Dr. Goodson personify the teaching qualities that we value so highly at Texas A&M -- caring for students, being dedicated and innovative and being leaders in their fields," said Texas A&M President R. Bowen Loftin. "They join a growing number of distinguished faculty who have had bestowed on them this special designation -- the university's highest form of recognition for teaching excellence."
The prestigious award, established in 2003 by former Texas A&M President Robert M. Gates to underscore the importance of teaching at a major research university, provides for presentation each spring of two Presidential Professor for Teaching Excellence Awards, each with a $25,000 stipend that includes the title of "Presidential Professor for Teaching Excellence" -- a designation retained by the recipient for the remainder of his or her career.
Boas has been a member of the faculty in the Texas A&M Department of Mathematics since 1984 and is known for his innovative approach to teaching and his lasting influence on students. He is the recipient of numerous awards and honors for teaching and scholarship, including the first Outstanding Teaching Award from the Department of Mathematics in 1994. He was a recipient of The Association of Former Students Distinguished Achievement Award in Teaching for the College of Science in 2009 and at the university level in 2010.
Known as a professor and mentor who inspires his students, Boas has seen many of his former students become professors of mathematics. As one former student noted, "Dr. Boas defines what a true teacher is: someone who makes you feel as though you are learning with him, not for him." Another former student stated, "Not many days go by that I do not think of the influence that Dr. Boas has had on my life."
According to university officials, this reputation stems from Boas' contributions to Texas A&M's teaching mission and his philosophy of teaching: love the students. He was a moving force behind several important curriculum development initiatives in the Department of Mathematics, including its distance education programs. Also, he has contributed significantly to the discipline of mathematics, as a member and chair of the Educational Testing Service's Committee of Examiners for the Mathematics Subject Test of the Graduate Record Examination and as the book review editor of the American Mathematical Monthly as well as an editor of Notices of the American Mathematical Society, among other activities.
Nominations for the Presidential Professor awards are made by students, faculty members and deans in each of the university's colleges. Faculty Senate representatives review each nomination and narrow the list that is sent to the president for the final selections.
Boas is the fifth College of Science faculty member to merit the coveted honor since its inception in 2003, the same year in which physics professor William H. Bassichis earned selection as one of the award's two inaugural recipients. Chemistry professors David E. Bergbreiter, the late John L. Hogg and Dr. Wendy L. Keeney-Kennicutt also received the honor in 2006, 2007 and 2009, respectively.
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