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Boston College Professor Audrey Friedman Named "Massachusetts Professor of the Year" For Accomplishments In Undergraduate Teaching

lynch school’s audrey friedman focuses on preparing tomorrow’s teachers

CHESTNUT HILL, MASS. (11/19/2009) – Boston College Lynch School of Education Associate Professor Audrey Friedman has been named "Massachusetts Professor of the Year" in recognition of her commitment to preparing the next generation of classroom teachers by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

Friedman said she was honored to be recognized by the Carnegie Foundation and CASE as the top university professor in the state through the U.S. Professors of the Year awards program, the only national initiative specifically designed to recognize excellence in undergraduate teaching and mentoring.

Though her career has been defined by her passion for teaching, Friedman admits she gets nervous every time she faces a room full of students.

Audrey Friedman Boston College Lynch School of Education Associate Professor Audrey Friedman was named "Massachusetts Professor of the Year." The award is administered by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and sponsored by The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. (Photo by Lee Pellegrini)

“I don’t think I’ll ever not be nervous before a class,” said Friedman, who has taught at Boston College since earning her doctorate from the Lynch School in 1995. “You have to reach the students in front of you and get the lessons across.”

John Lippincott, president of CASE, said the 2009 national and state winners represent the best in undergraduate teaching and mentoring.

"These professors have a passion for teaching that sparks a passion for learning in their students," Lippincott said. "As great teachers, they combine a profound knowledge of their disciplines with creative teaching methods to engage students within and outside of the classroom. We celebrate their achievements and contributions to teaching and student learning."
Friedman said she is not afraid to take a lecture that’s worked, rip it apart and start over again. It gives her lessons an edge that keeps students engaged.

“I change it up all the time,” said Friedman. “I’m never happy with my teaching. If you’re happy with your teaching all the time, I think there might be room for improvement.”

Judging by the comments of the students who helped to nominate Friedman, her approach works.

“No teacher or professor has made a bigger impact on my education and my own teaching career than Dr. Friedman,” wrote one former student. “She is an amazing woman, a passionate teacher, and a powerful role model for all aspiring teachers.  As an undergraduate, she inspired me to push myself to achieve excellence and to strive to continue to improve myself.”

Friedman’s work in the past has been recognized with the Boston College Distinguished Faculty Award for excellence in teaching (2000-01). In 2003, she received the Mary Kaye Waldron Award from BC undergraduate student government. Her work at Brighton High School earned her the Boston Higher Education Partnership Award for school-university collaboration in 2005.

Friedman has published widely on a range of education subjects, including teacher preparation, school reform, science education and urban schools. She is a co-principal investigator of an $800,000 National Science Foundation grant the Lynch School is using to prepare science majors for careers in teaching through an intensive one-year master’s degree program.

Lynch School Associate Dean for Faculty and Academics Maureen Kenny nominated Friedman, noting that her work was defined by an “extraordinary level of dedication, hard work, talent, and caring.”

 “Dr. Friedman’s commitment to secondary education, especially in urban communities, stems from her own early career experience as a secondary school teacher,” Kenny wrote. “Dr. Friedman brings this passion and commitment to her engagement with university undergraduates. Her capacity to inspire them comes not only from her own passion, but also from her knowledge about how to effectively instruct and motivate college students.”

For more information, please contact Ed Hayward in BC’s Office of News & Public Affairs at 617-552-4826 or