Oakland University Professor Receives Professor of the Year Award

OU professor receives Professor of the Year award
Oakland University School of Engineering and Computer Science professor Barbara Oakley, Ph.D. has been recognized as one of the state's three recipients of the Michigan Distinguished Professor of the Year award

Oakland University Professor Barbara Oakley has been recognized as one of the state's three recipients of the Michigan Distinguished Professor of the Year award, which recognizes the outstanding contributions and dedication exhibited by the faculty from Michigan’s 15 public universities to the education of undergraduate students. 

 

The Academic Affairs Officers of the Michigan Association of State Universities will recognize the nominees and recipients of this annual award on April 20 during a luncheon in Lansing.

The other two winners are Anne Ruggles Gere from University of Michigan and Deborah Herrington from Grand Valley State University.

Dr. Barbara Oakley is a Professor of Engineering at Oakland University. She has taught at OU since 1998, where she has received the OU Distinguished Teaching Award and she is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineers.

She is the author of The New York Times best-selling science book A Mind for Numbers, as well as instructor of the world’s most popular massive open online course: Coursera’s Learning How to Learn, where she has taught over 2 million students from 200 countries, including at the world’s largest refugee camp; students with IQs of 70 and below are now able to attend college for the first time as a result of taking the course. As a result of all this, she earned Coursera’s inaugural Innovation Instructor recognition.

At OU, she has innovated by designing a course titled How Things Work that introduces engineering principles to non-engineering students. In the nearby city of Pontiac, she has partnered for years with local elementary schools to improve math education.

“I can think of no better candidate than Professor Barbara Oakley for the Michigan Distinguished Professor of the Year Award,” said James P. Lentini, Oakland University Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost. “Her impact on the field of education would be difficult to surpass.”

She also served in the U.S. Army as a Russian linguist, reaching the rank of Captain. She studied at the Defense Language Institute and been selected as a Distinguished Military Scholar and Graduate, and was also a radio operator at the South Pole Station in Antarctica. She is also Visiting Scholar at the University of California – San Diego and Ramón y Cajal Distinguished Scholar of Global Digital Learning at McMaster University.

She earned a B.A. in Slavic Languages and Literature and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering at the University of Washington, and an M.S in Electrical and Computer Engineering and a Ph.D. in Systems Engineering at Oakland University.

“Professor Barbara Oakley represents the very best of teaching, inclusivity and dedication to student success,” said Daniel J. Hurley, CEO of the Michigan Association of State Universities. “She has taught more than two million students around the world, symbolizing the excellence in higher education for which Michigan’s public universities are globally renowned.”

(Story submitted by MASU)

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The Michigan Association of State Universities serves as the coordinating board for Michigan’s 15 public universities, providing advocacy and fostering policy to maximize the collective value these institutions provide in serving the public interest and the State of Michigan.