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Taylor Named Educator of the Year, Again

Larry Peña, April 5, 2012
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At Thursday morning’s Faculty Awards Colloquy, PUC business professor Lary Taylor was named Educator of the Year. This is the third time Taylor has won the award—an unprecedented feat in PUC history.

The Educator of the Year is decided by student vote, and the results are a closely guarded secret in the weeks between the balloting and the Colloquy program. Professor emeritus of chemistry Bill Hemmerlin, a longtime friend and colleague of Taylor’s, introduced the award, revealing the winner gradually with a series of childhood photos and biographical hints.

As the final clue was revealed, Taylor stood and approached the stage with good-humored reluctance as the church audience rose to applaud the repeat honoree. Academic dean Nancy Lecourt presented him with a framed certificate, and then he took a seat on the dais as Hemmerlin delivered a teasing roast of his friend.

Later in the program, business department colleagues Wally Lighthouse and John Nunes and business students Chris Madrid and Kelly Chung presented tributes to the professor. Each speaker highlighted the major factor that keeps students voting for Taylor again and again: his warm and welcoming attitude to those around him. “Simply put, my friend Professor Lary Taylor has an incredible capacity to love,” said Nunes.

In addition to the Educator of the Year award, the program featured a listing of faculty members who have undertaken extravocational academic or creative achievements this year, as well as the 2012 Herber Grant winners. These grants go to help fund research expenses. This year’s winners included three new professors: visual arts instructor Amy Cronk, biology professor Scott Herbert, and chemistry professor Denise Lee-Haye. The final winner was English professor Maria Rankin-Brown, receiving her third Herber Grant.