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Hollylynne Lee

Meet Our Cherry Award Recipient

Distinguished Professor Hollylynne S. Lee has spent her career helping others unleash their potential and improving the way that mathematics and statistics is taught and understood. For her transformative impact, she has been recognized with Baylor University's Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching, the most prestigious award of its kind in the nation.

Hollylynne S. Lee, Distinguished Professor of Mathematics and Statistics Education at NC State’s College of Education and a senior faculty fellow with the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation, has been named the 2022 recipient of Baylor University’s Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching. This highly prestigious biennial award honors professors with exceptional teaching skills who have a record of having a positive, inspiring and long-lasting impact on students. She is the first NC State faculty member to receive the award.

As the 2022 Cherry Award recipient, Lee will receive a $250,000 award and her home department—the Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education—will receive an additional $25,000. She will also teach in residence at Baylor during the 2023 spring semester.

Lee has had a lifelong love for mathematics and statistics, and is driven by her desire to widen her impact on students’ and teachers’ educational experiences. 

She earned her B.S. in secondary mathematics education from The Pennsylvania State University, her M.A.Ed. in secondary education-mathematics from the College of William & Mary and her Ph.D. in mathematics education from the University of Virginia. She joined the NC State faculty in 2000. Prior to her work at the university level, she was a K-12 teacher.

“Professor Hollylynne Lee expertly embodies NC State’s mission, and she is a true change-maker when it comes to higher education. Her excellence in teaching and research have changed the way mathematics and statistics are taught and understood, and she has made an immeasurable impact on tens of thousands of students and educators, from K-12 and up, through her work. We are fortunate to have her at NC State, and the entire state benefits from her transformative efforts.”

– Warwick Arden

Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, NC State

Hollylynne Lee

More on Distinguished Professor Hollylynne S. Lee

10 Things to Know about Her

“I really liked mathematics, and I really felt like I just had a love of it that I wanted to kind of help others see the joy in it. My dad was an elementary teacher and so, everyone had been kind of suggesting that teaching might not be such a bad thing. I really was kind of floundering at that time as far as what I wanted to do. And once I started taking some of the coursework in teaching, I thought it was really fascinating and interesting. I didn’t see myself applying my love for math by actually doing math day after day, but helping other people understand it seemed much more appealing to me.” (Source: EdNC: The joy of math: An interview with Dr. Hollylynne Lee)

“We need data literate citizens. I want my neighbors and the folks in our society to be data literate so that we are making good decisions together for the good of the world.” (Source: ‘I Want The Folks in Our Society to Be Data Literate So That We Are Making Good Decisions Together for the Good of the World’)

“By doing online professional development, we can actually provide different pathways for teachers and have more flexible learning opportunities, so it’s not everybody sitting in the same room, getting the same thing at the same time. They’re able to engage in an online community [with educators who] might be five or six states away, they might even be a whole country away, but they’re all there to learn together and think about how to improve their practice in the classroom.” (Source: Why is it Important for K-12 Students to Understand Data and Statistics?)

“I had all of my colleagues scrambling, saying, “Oh my gosh, we’re moving all of our classes online. And I’m thinking, wow, I’m not doing that right now, and how could I use what I have to give back? So I decided to revise and open one of the MOOCs on teaching math with technology and revise it to actually bring in more stuff about teaching online.” (Source: EdNC The joy of math: An interview with Dr. Hollylynne Lee)

“I am very excited and humbled to share this honor with my friend and colleague, Lance [Fusarelli]. I look forward to continuing to serve the land-grant mission of NC State and to making a lasting impact in the disciplines of mathematics education and statistics education.” (Source: Lance Fusarelli and Hollylynne Lee Named Professors of Distinction)

“I am thrilled to be part of this celebration of faculty excellence and NC State tradition. Wolfpack red is one of my favorite colors and I am proud to see the tower glow red in honor of faculty achievements.” (Source: College of Education Professor Hollylynne Lee Among NC State Faculty Honored with Talley Technology Tower Lighting on Oct. 6)

“Gaining experiences across the K-12 curriculum — not just math or science classes — to engage in data exploration and data-based argumentation will position our students as powerful meaning-makers in their future. Having been selected as a Fellow, I am honored that the ASA and its leadership recognize and value research and teacher professional development in statistics education, rather than only advances in applications and theory in statistical science. I am proud to be part of an organization that supports K-12 and college educational efforts in statistics and data science.” (Source: Professor Hollylynne Lee Named 2020 American Statistical Association (ASA) Fellow)

“Creating data-literate citizens requires an effort across all disciplines to emphasize the process of learning from data, whether that data comes in the form of social media texts or quantitative measures collected about a real world phenomena like the nutritional information about our choices of breakfast foods. The HI-RiSE team is ready to assist teachers, schools and districts like Sampson County in making data-based decision making a priority skill for their 21st century learners.” (Source: Friday Institute Partnership with Sampson County Schools Brings Data-Rich Activities and Resources Into Classrooms)

“Our intent is to use high-impact resources, instructional strategies, online supports and classroom-ready materials to engage teachers in critical experiences that develop a broader understanding of what it means to engage in statistics and data investigations as a teacher and learner. Our mechanisms will build a long lasting online community as well as meeting teachers’ short-term professional development goals.” (Source: Professor Hollylynne Lee Continues to Help Teachers Prepare Data Literate Students Through $2.9 Million NSF Grant)

“There is a dearth of video-based materials available to mathematics teacher educators that focus on secondary students. Our project will contribute research results, and research-based materials to advance the field of mathematics teacher education and prepare future high school teachers to enact student-centered pedagogies for teaching algebra with technology.”(Source: New $1.8 Million NSF Grant to Support NC State Education Project on Math Teacher Preparation)

“Dr. Lee’s scholarship and teaching expertise focuses on the teaching and learning of probability, statistics and data science in grades 4-12 and early college-level courses. We were very impressed by her design and use of engaging technology tools that facilitate student learning of mathematics and statistics, as well her ability to inspire future teachers in these important fields.”

– Michael W. Thompson, Ph.D.

Committee chair, Cherry Award for Great Teaching, and associate dean for undergraduate programs in Baylor’s School of Engineering and Computer Science

About the Cherry Award

Baylor University established the Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching 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.

Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching