Excellence in Education Award

This award was initiated in 1988 to recognize outstanding teaching, mentoring, and/or educational outreach in plant biology. It is a monetary award to be made annually in recognition of excellence in teaching, leadership in curricular development, or authorship of effective teaching materials in the science of plant biology.

2019 Winner: Tara Phelps-Durr

This year’s Excellence in Education Award winner is Dr. Tara Phelps-Durr.  Dr. Phelps Durr has an outstanding record of teaching, mentoring, and outreach.   .  She was instrumental in leading her Department in infusing the curriculum with the concepts in Vision and Change. She has included computational biology in her courses and has disseminated these through various venues including CoursSource and by participating in a Gordon Research Conference on Undergraduate Biology Education.  She led the application to the HHMI for a project fostering inclusive excellence and the project was funded.  As one of her students stated in the application.  “She goes out of her way to make sure her students are able to succeed in her class and during their time in college. It creates a permanent, positive impact on us students when we know our professors want us to succeed by how they treat us which helps motivate us to work even harder.”  Dr. Tara Phelps-Durr is an exemplar teacher/scholar.


Sue Wick, Chair (2018-2020)
Tara Phelps-Durr, Past Winner (2019-2020)
Yan Lu (2018-2021)
Karen Hicks (2019-2022)
Sylvia Lee, Staff Liaison

Nomination & Deadlines

The Excellence in Education Award will be offered again in 2020. Please check the nominations page in January 2020 to make a nomination.

Past Winners

2018 – Marian D. Quain
2017 – Sarah Wyatt
2016 – Candace Galen
2015 – Stan Roux
2014 – Brent Buckner
2013 – Erin Dolan
2012 – Peggy Lemaux
2011 – Mary Williams
2010 – Jane Ellis
2007 – Roger Hangarter
2004 – Susan Singer
2001 – Jon Monroe
1998 – Carol Reiss
1995 – Carl S. Pike
1991 – Paul H. Williams