Professor Hollylynne S. Lee Selected as Finalist for Baylor’s Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching

NC State College of Education Professor Hollylynne Lee is a finalist for the Robert Foster Cherry Award

Hollylynne S. Lee, Ph.D., professor of mathematics and statistics education in the NC State College of Education and senior faculty fellow at the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation, has been selected as one of three finalists for Baylor University’s highly prestigious 2022 Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching.

The only one of its kind in the nation, this biennial award honors outstanding professors who have distinguished themselves as exceptional teachers and who have a proven record of having a positive, inspiring and long-lasting impact on their students.

“It meant so much to me last fall that [NC State Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Warwick Arden] and my colleagues even wanted to nominate me for this award. Finding out I was one of three finalists was shocking, especially in a year when so many of us have struggled educationally and personally through a pandemic,” said Lee, a widely recognized expert in the design and use of technology to support student learning of mathematics and statistics.

“I really am incredibly honored and majorly humbled. I always said that I became a mathematics teacher educator because I wanted to widen my impact on students’ and teachers’ educational experiences. None of that happened on my own. The support of my family, a shared commitment to and love for teaching with my husband, and the many collaborative experiences with colleagues — near and far– all contributed greatly to my development as an educator.”

The Cherry Award was established at Baylor and first awarded in 1991 by an estate bequest from Robert Foster Cherry, who wanted to show appreciation for how his life had been changed by significant teachers. The award program is designed to honor great teachers, stimulate discussion about the value of teaching and encourage departments and institutions to value their own great teachers.

As a finalist for the Cherry Award, Lee will receive $15,000 and will present a series of lectures at Baylor in the fall and one on NC State’s campus. Her home department, the Department of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education, will also receive $10,000 to foster the development of pedagogical skills.

“Dr. Lee received her Ph.D. in mathematics education from the University of Virginia in 2000 and joined our faculty that same year,” said Provost Arden. “Over the past 21 years, she has tirelessly pursued the improvement of the teaching and learning of mathematics and statistics, while training educators to facilitate student learning by incorporating meaningful technologies in the classroom.”

The recipient of the Cherry Award will be chosen from among the three finalists in Spring 2022. The winner will receive $250,000 and will teach in residence at Baylor during the Fall 2022 or Spring 2023 semester. The recipient’s home department will also receive $25,000.

“As a College of Education, we have many outstanding teachers in our college. But as this Cherry Award finalist honor attests, Dr. Lee is among the very best of even the best,” said NC State College of Education Dean Mary Ann Danowitz, Ed.D. “I remember Dr. Lee once saying that her favorite moments as an educator come when she watches her students succeed. That goes to show what a remarkable, caring and passionate teacher Dr. Lee is and how much she genuinely values her role as a teacher and appreciates the power that teachers hold in influencing the lives of others.”

“Through both the courses, anchored in her own research, she teaches within our college along with the professional development she provides to in-service teachers as a senior faculty fellow with the Friday Institute, Dr. Lee models what it means to be an extraordinary educator for future and in-service teachers,” Danowitz added. “By doing so, her impact has been amplified. She has helped improve the teaching practice of thousands of others, who have gone on to improve the outcomes of their students.”

The Cherry Award finalist honor is the latest in a string of accolades for Lee over the past year. In April of 2020, she received the UNC Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching, which is presented annually to one faculty member at each of the 16 public universities in the UNC System and the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics to recognize, reward and support good teaching.

In August, she was selected as one of the 2020 American Statistical Association (ASA) Fellows based on her exceptional contributions to teacher preparation and professional development of statistics teachers at the K-12 level, valuable statistics education research and effective and exuberant advocacy in promoting statistics and data science education.


More About Hollylynne S. Lee

Hollylynne S. Lee earned her B.S. in secondary mathematics education from The Pennsylvania State University in 1991, her M.A.Ed. in secondary education-mathematics in 1995 from College of William and Mary, and her Ph.D. in mathematics education from University of Virginia in 2000. She serves as professor of mathematics and statistics education at North Carolina State University. Prior to her work at the university level, she served as a K-12 teacher.

Among her many teaching awards and honors, Lee was named in 2020 as a Fellow of the American Statistical Association in recognition for excellence and advocacy in data science and statistics education and the professional development of teachers. She was honored with the UNC Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching for 2019-20 and named a Fellow of the International Society for Design and Development in Education in 2019.

Lee has secured millions of dollars in external and internal grant funding, and she has committed much time and energy to creating open educational resources, offering free online courses for educators from around the world, and sharing research-based multimedia materials via Creative Commons licensing. Her scholarship and writings include more than 100 journal articles, book chapters and conference proceeding papers, four co-authored books and a co-edited book, “Scholarly Practices and Inquiry in the Preparation of Mathematics Teachers.”

Learn More About the Cherry Award