Cyr recognized with Undergraduate Program Leadership Award

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Richard Cyr, professor of biology in the Eberly College of Science, is the recipient of the 2012 Undergraduate Program Leadership Award.

The award recognizes a faculty member who has demonstrated exemplary leadership benefiting a Penn State undergraduate degree program. Specifically, it recognizes those individuals who have major responsibilities for the delivery of undergraduate education within a unit and who are providing leadership that has transformed or revitalized the undergraduate program in some way.

For the past 14 years, Cyr has served as assistant department head for undergraduate affairs in the Department of Biology. His duties have included supervising all departmental instructional activities, mentoring and advising faculty and instructors, and supervising the biology advising office.

Early in his career at Penn State, Cyr led the development of four highly integrated courses to provide students with depth of knowledge and breadth of understanding as they explore biology from molecules to ecosystems. Later, supported by a grant from the Mellon Foundation, he oversaw the integration of Web-based tutorials into an introductory biology course. In 2009, he spearheaded Penn State’s successful efforts to obtain a Howard Hughes Medical Institute grant to improve science education by developing an integrated program in which students earn a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s in science education.

“Thousands of students and numerous colleagues have benefited from his vision to expand the understanding of science for biology majors and non-majors, his tenacious can-do attitude in implementing programs that enhance learning, his rigorous approach to study the effects of curricular change and his ability to effectively convey the findings to the broader higher education community,” a nominator said.

Cyr was the first recipient of Penn State’s Teaching Hall of Fame Award and has received the George W. Atherton Award for Excellence in Teaching.

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Last Updated April 12, 2012