UPDATE 5/15/2012: Nominations are now closed.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jenna Ashley Robinson
Pope Center Now Accepting Nominations for 2012 Spirit of Inquiry Awards
Chance for College Students to Name Outstanding Courses
RALEIGH, March 27, 2012 – The John W. Pope Center for Higher Education Policy is accepting nominations for its annual Spirit of Inquiry award. The award recognizes courses taught at North Carolina colleges, universities and community colleges that reflect the true spirit of open-mindedness within an academic discipline. Nominated courses also should be interesting, rigorous, and unbiased. Students who have taken the course provide the nominations.
Winning faculty members receive as much as $1,000. Students who nominate a winning course receive a $250 gift card to their school’s bookstore. If they graduate before the winners are selected, they receive a check instead.
“We would love to see parents of North Carolina college students encourage their participation,” said Jane Shaw, the Pope Center’s president. “While the $250 prizes may only help defray the cost of a few textbooks, the award itself sends an important signal to the higher education community that free and open discussion of issues and ideas is critical to a quality education.”
To nominate a professor, students should note these requirements:
- The instructor’s presentation of social and political issues is balanced and fair
- The classroom environment allows students to express ideas and encourages open investigation and inquiry
- Course material is interesting and rigorous
- The professor/instructor is responsive to students needs
Students who wish to nominate a course should go to www.popecenter.org/contest.
Other contest rules include:
- The course must be taken no earlier than Fall 2007 and no later than Spring 2012
- Nominations are accepted from undergrads and graduate students
- Courses taught in all North Carolina public and private colleges (including community colleges) are eligible
Nominations will be accepted until May 15, 2012 – nominations can be entered at www.popecenter.org/contest
The goal of this contest is to find, reward, and publicize the best courses at colleges and universities in North Carolina – courses that expand the students’ ability to think and express their ideas within the context of an academic discipline.
An awards dinner is held in November or December for the winning professors and their nominating students in a location that is easily accessible to all winners. Nominated professors are also invited to attend the yearly celebration of excellent teaching.
The Spirit of Inquiry award program is funded by a grant from the Broyhill Family Foundation of Lenoir, North Carolina. Jenna Ashley Robinson of the Pope Center directs the program.
The John W. Pope Center for Higher Education Policy is a nonprofit institute dedicated to improving higher education in North Carolina and the nation. It is located in Raleigh. For more information on the Center, visit www.popecenter.org.