Biology teacher receives Collins award


Students’ votes determine ‘outstanding’ lecturer

By Jade Mardirosian
Staff Writer

The 2011 Collins Outstanding Professor has been awarded to a professor in the biology department.

Dr. Marcie Moehnke, lecturer in biology, has been selected by this year’s senior class as the recipient of the award, which is bestowed annually by the Carr P. Collins Foundation. The award recognizes and honors extraordinary teachers at Baylor.

Moehnke said she was surprised when told she had been honored with the award.

“I must say I was very shocked and I think I was speechless for a while,” Moehnke said. “Not many things shock me. It is such an honor and because I understand what an honor it was it really did leave me speechless.”

Round Rock senior Colby Bouchard has taken Moehnke’s classes and served as her grader and a supplemental instruction student teacher for her genetics class. Bouchard said she was ecstatic when she heard Moehnke had been named as the recipient of the award.

“I was incredibly happy for her. She absolutely 100 percent deserves it,” Bouchard said. “She is a great choice for this year; she’s just fantastic at what she does. I’ve loved working with her and I couldn’t ask for a better mentor and professor.”

Moehnke, who has taught at Baylor for six years, said she enjoys working with students.

“I love it when they learn something and I can see that it has finally clicked,” Moehnke said. “I like getting to know them as a mentor, adviser, teacher and even participating with them in different events outside of the classroom.”

Bouchard described Moehnke as passionate.

“She cares about her students immensely and just really wants them to succeed,” Bouchard said. “She is really knowledgeable and is just a fantastic teacher overall, probably one of the best I’ve had.”

The recipient of the Collins Outstanding Professor award receives $10,000 cash, recognition in university publications as well as at the spring commencement and citation on a plaque. The recipient also gives a lecture on a subject of his or her choice.

Moehnke will present her lecture “Life Lessons from Scientific Serendipity” at 4 p.m. today in A108 Baylor Sciences Building.

Moehnke said her lecture deals with special events in science that have come somewhat by accident.

“These scientists had an original plan, but this serendipitous event changed their direction. How they responded to that changed their lives,” Moehnke said. “In our lives we all have our plans and so forth. When we have a change in plans, what is important is how we respond and we can end up making a discovery in our lives as well.”