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Faculty Excellence

Through their tireless devotion to teaching, research, and service, CU-Boulder faculty educate a professional workforce, train graduate students to become future professors and researchers, discover groundbreaking solutions to local, national, and global challenges, create new business enterprises that drive economic growth in Colorado and across the country, and enhance the culture and quality of life through outreach programs and creative works in the humanities and the arts.

Nobel Laureates

  • David J. Wineland, a lecturer in the physics department and a physicist with the National Institute of Standards and Technology, won the 2012 Nobel Prize in physics for his work in developing the technique of using lasers to cool ions to near absolute zero.
  • Several CU-Boulder research faculty from the National Snow and Ice Data Center shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with former Vice President Al Gore for their contributions to the international report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
  • Professor John Hall won the 2005 Nobel Prize in physics for his contributions to the development of laser-based precision spectroscopy.
  • Distinguished Professor Carl Wieman and Professor Eric Cornell won the 2001 Nobel Prize in physics for creating a new form of matter called Bose-Einstein condensate.
  • Distinguished Professor Thomas Cech won the 1989 Nobel Prize in chemistry for his discovery that RNA in living cells can function as a biocatalyst.

National Medal of Science

Four professors have been awarded the National Medal of Science, the nation’s highest scientific honor:

  • Distinguished Professor Marvin Caruthers, chemistry and biochemistry, 2006
  • The late Professor Gilbert White, geography, 2000
  • Nobel Laureate and Distinguished Professor Thomas Cech, chemistry, 1995
  • The late Professor Keith Porter, molecular, cellular, and developmental biology, 1976

National Academies

  • 25 active or retired faculty are National Academy of Science members.
  • 23 active or retired faculty are American Academy of Arts and Sciences members.
  • 17 active or retired faculty are National Academy of Engineering members.
  • Six active or retired faculty are National Academy of Education members.

Fellows or Investigators

  • 50 active or retired faculty are fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
  • Five faculty are Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigators.
  • 13 professors have received Packard Fellowships.
  • 10 professors have received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
  • 17 professors have been awarded Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowships.

Teaching Scholars

  • Two faculty have won the National Science Foundation Director’s Award for Distinguished Teaching Scholars.

Fulbright Scholars

  • 110 faculty have been named Fulbright Scholars.

MacArthur Fellows

  • Seven faculty have received MacArthur Fellowships, known as the “genius grant.”

Distinguished Professors

  • 31 active or retired faculty members are University of Colorado Distinguished Professors.

Teaching Excellence Programs

  • The Faculty Teaching Excellence Program (FTEP) offers a wealth of opportunities and resources to assist CU-Boulder faculty in refining their teaching skills in order to create more engaging interactive learning environments for CU students.
  • The President’s Teaching Scholars Program recognizes faculty from all four CU campuses for excellence in teaching, research, scholarship, and creative work.
  • The Hazel Barnes Prize recognizes one outstanding CU-Boulder teacher who has made significant contributions in a field of study.
  • Up to 12 Boulder Faculty Assembly awards of excellence are given annually to faculty members in three categories: Teaching, Service, and Research, Scholarly, and Creative Work.