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Cherry Award Nominee to Speak Tuesday in School of Education [10/04/2021]


By Kourtney David

Baylor Cherry Award nominee Dr. Hollylynne S. Lee, professor of mathematics and statistics education at North Carolina State University, will speak at Baylor at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 5, in Marrs McLean Science Building, Room 101. Lee is one of three finalists for the prestigious award, and if she receives it, she will teach in residence in the School of Education’s Department of Curriculum & Instruction during a semester in 2022.

Lee’s lecture, “Data Moves and Discourse: Design Principles for Strengthening Statistics Education,” will be relevant to teachers and future teachers at all levels as she explores how to foster discourse and engagement with data. Prior to Lee’s work at the university level, she served as a K-12 teacher.

Lee says that in today’s society, we all need to be fluent with statistics — for making everyday decisions, making sense of visualizations and statistics given in the media, and preparing for many careers that utilize data. But statistics is one of the hardest subjects for students to learn. With so much data flowing in all facets of life, how do we prepare teachers to give students the tools they need for statistical literacy?

Lee’s lecture will focus on statistics education that provides opportunities for student growth. Lee will share examples and methods of data engagement for teachers to improve data literacy and engage the audience along the way. Lee says the audience should be ready to use a phone or tablet to participate.

All three finalists for the Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching are giving a lecture at Baylor this fall. Finalists were chosen from among nominees from all around the U.S. and chosen by the Cherry Award Committee, which will also select the recipient. The Cherry Award honoree receives a prize of $250,000, plus expenses for the semester. Each finalist receives $15,000 for their lecture, plus $10,000 awarded to their home department.

Dr. Brooke Blevins, chair of the Department of Curriculum & Instruction, said the lecture will be an excellent opportunity for attendees — whether teachers or students — to increase their own fluency in data.

“The Cherry Award honors great teaching across the entire U.S., so attendees will get to experience an excellent teacher,” Blevins said.

Dr. Michael Thompson, professor and associate dean in the School of Engineering and Computer Science and chair of the Cherry Award selection committee, said the lecture topic is timely. “We live in an increasingly data driven world,” he said. “I feel that improving the educational outcomes in the areas of data, statistics and analytics is critical for preparing future generations for success. Dr. Lee is a world renown teacher, scholar, and innovator in this impactful area. I can’t wait to hear what she has to say in her public lecture.”

The award was created by Robert Foster Cherry, a 1929 Baylor alumnus, to recognize great teachers and bring them in contact with Baylor students. The first award was given in 1991 and, according to the Cherry Award website, “is designed to honor great teachers, to stimulate discussion in the academy about the value of teaching, and to encourage departments and institutions to value their own great teachers.”

The lecture will also be live streamed on the Cherry Award site: WATCH HERE


Baylor’s School of Education celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2019. With more than 60 full-time faculty members, the school’s growing research portfolio complements its long-standing commitment to excellence in teaching and student mentoring. The school boasts a variety of academic program options across its three departments: Curriculum and Instruction, Educational Leadership, and Educational Psychology. Baylor’s award-winning undergraduate program in teacher education serves approximately 400 students and has earned national distinction for innovative partnerships with local schools that provide future teachers with extensive clinical preparation.

More than 700 graduate students pursue advanced study and professional preparation in master’s, Ed.S., Ed.D., and Ph.D. programs. With multiple faculty searches underway and exciting new academic initiatives both at home and abroad, the school is in a period of significant expansion and is poised for greater impact through the production of meaningful, high-quality research and the preparation of outstanding leaders, teachers, and clinicians. Visit to learn more.

Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.

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