Home » Centre’s Mary Daniels named Kentucky Professor of the Year

Centre’s Mary Daniels named Kentucky Professor of the Year

Honored by Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching

DANVILLE, Ky. (Nov. 19, 2015) — Centre College Professor of Spanish Mary Daniels has been named the 2015 Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching Kentucky Professor of the Year.

Mary Daniels
Mary Daniels

A faculty member at Centre since 1996, Daniels was honored Nov. 19 in Washington, D.C. at a luncheon and evening reception hosted by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), which administers the award.

Recipients are recognized for their extraordinary dedication to undergraduate teaching.

“My strength as a teacher is creating a community that embraces listening, encourages academic debate and promotes lively discourse,” she said. “Life is not made up of discrete parts, nor do I want student thinking to be. Synthesizing disparate pieces of information is a learned skill that has the power to influence their careers, their politics and their relationships.”

Daniels’ teaching interests include U.S.-Latino literature and border studies, as well as 17th-century Spanish literature. She is also active outside the classroom and off campus. A 3M Foundation grant in 2004 helped Daniels start a Hispanic community center in central Kentucky. In addition, Daniels teaches ESL classes at the North Point Training Facility, a medium-security prison in Boyle County.

Daniels has also led study abroad programs in Ecuador and Nicaragua. As part of a course called “Nicaragua After the Revolution,” Daniels and her students lived with residents of Ramón García, a rural community in the Nicaraguan countryside.

Centre President John A. Roush strongly supported Daniels’ nomination, describing her as “an outstanding example of a college professor who exceeds all the criteria for excellence.” He also called her “an engaging, highly respected teacher, and an accomplished, active scholar dedicated to her college community.” Roush added that Daniels is “respected by her faculty colleagues on campus and beloved by our students.”

Daniels earned her B.A. at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, completed an M.A. at the University of Wisconsin and received a Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky in 1998. At Centre, she has earned numerous distinctions, including being named a Centre Scholar and receiving the Kirk Award for Teaching Excellence.