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First Evan C Thompson Professor for Excellence in Teaching: Dr. DeTurck

D. DeTurck

Provost Robert Barchi announced that Mathematics Professor Dennis DeTurck has been named to the first Evan C Thompson Endowed Term Professorship for Excellence in Teaching. Wharton alumnus Evan Thompson, '64, pledged $1 million in November to endow a professorship that recognizes teaching excellence (Almanac November 11, 2003).  "Dennis is a terrific scholar and a beloved teacher," said Dr. Barchi. "He embodies the traits that define this new endowed professorship, including curricular innovation; an enduring record of superior teaching skills and the capacity to consistently inspire students. We're so pleased the committee found such a deserving first recipient. I also want to express my deepest gratitude to Mr. Thompson for his generosity in establishing this endowment."

Dr. DeTurck joined the faculty in 1982 as an assistant professor. He has been a professor of mathematics since 1989, with secondary appointments in SEAS and GSE. He served as chair of the mathematics department, 1997-2002 and as undergraduate chair, 1992-1997. He also earned both an M.A. in mathematics (1978) and a Ph.D. in mathematics (1980) from Penn.

Dr. DeTurck has received numerous awards and honors including the Ira Abrams Award for Distinguished Teaching (2003); the Mathematical Association of America's Deborah and Franklin Tepper Haimo Award for Distinguished Teaching (2002); and the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching (1991).

Dr. DeTurck has also served on dozens of University committees and advisory boards since he came to Penn.

"Penn is an exciting and challenging place to teach­because even in the role of Constructor' you wake up every day excited to learn more from students and colleagues," Dr. DeTurck said. "So I feel especially honored and grateful to be designated the first Evan Thompson Professor."

When he announced his gift in November, Mr. Thompson said: "All of us who are lucky enough to come across a dedicated classroom teacher know how significantly the experience influences us. "This endowment demonstrates our appreciation for the commitment of those teachers."

Dr. DeTurck will serve for a term of three years. On April 12, at 4:30 p.m. he will present a lecture to the University community,  So How's Johnny Doing in Calculus? in the Benjamin Franklin Room, Houston Hall focusing on the implications and challenges posed by K-12 educational "reforms" and other social and technological forces for college-level mathematics.

 

 


  Almanac, Vol. 50, No. 26, March 23, 2004

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