TCC Faculty Member is Oklahoma Professor of the Year

BEST TEACHER: Phoebe Baker receives the Carnegie Foundation Oklahoma Professor of the Year Award from Dr. Thomas McKeon, president and chief executive officer of TCC (left), and Martin Garber, chairman of the TCC Board of Regents.

JOHN HALL, Tulsa Community College

Phoebe Baker, assistant professor of psychology at Tulsa Community College, has been named 2004 Oklahoma Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching (The Carnegie Foundation) and Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).

Baker is co-chairperson of the Creative Teaching and Learning Cooperative, an organization that promotes teaching strategies and leadership skills.

During her 20 years of service to TCC, Baker was a career specialist and worked for the Southeast Campus Dean of Instruction prior to her current faculty position. She has interviewed, selected, and assigned classes to adjunct instructors in her division.

In addition to serving in the TCC Faculty Association and serving on committees for provost selection and the formulation for the TCC Strategic Vision, Baker has been an advisor for the Behavioral Science Organization, Oklahoma Student Education Association, and a campus chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, the largest honor society in higher education.

Baker has a Bachelor of Science degree in sociology from Oklahoma State University and a Master of Science degree in college teaching from Northeastern State University.

“Professors of the Year have distinguished themselves in their profession by their commitment to advancing knowledge and to motivating, inspiring, and empowering their students,” said Lee Shulman, president of the Carnegie Foundation.

“Through their contribution to the excellence in teaching and extraordinary dedication to their students, they have dignified and elevated the profession of teaching and created a legacy of knowledge and practice that others can build upon. In honoring them, we not only recognize the individuals but also maintain the importance of teaching to our nation’s future.”

“For our Professors of the Year, teaching is not a job, it is a calling,” said John Lippincott, president of CASE. “They are as dedicated to their students as they are to their disciplines and they are exceptional in their ability to engage students in the learning process.”

“Phoebe exemplifies the quality of instructor we strive to provide for our students at TCC,” said Thomas McKeon, Ed.D, president and chief executive officer of TCC. “She has demonstrated a strong commitment to student success through her work with our honorary academic organization Phi Theta Kappa, and she is personally familiar with the hopes and desires of the adult student because of her own return to college after joining TCC as an employee.”

In 1981, CASE initiated the Professor of the Year program, naming one national winner annually. In 1985, CASE added state winners.
In the 20-year history of state awards, TCC has four recipients of the Oklahoma Professor of the Year Award – more than any institution of higher education in the state.

In 1994, CASE renamed the award – honoring The Carnegie Foundation for its involvement with pedagogy and scholarship in teaching. Also, the national award was restructured to honor faculty members in four categories – baccalaureate colleges, community colleges, master’s universities and colleges, and doctoral and research universities.

CASE relies on two groups of judging panels – comprised of deans and professors, education writers, and representatives of governments, foundations, and educational associations – to reduce the pool of nationwide entrants to 24 finalists, which are forwarded to The Carnegie Foundation.

The Foundation convenes a third panel – which includes students, a former national award winner, and campus representatives – to select the national winners in the four categories and single winners from states.

The American Association of Community Colleges and TIAA-CREF provide additional support for the Professor of the Year program. The Carnegie Foundation, founded in 1905 by Andrew Carnegie to dignify and promote the teaching profession, is the only advanced-study center for teachers and is the third oldest foundation in the United States.

CASE is the largest international association of educational institutions, representing more than 3,200 colleges, universities, and independent elementary and secondary schools in 50 countries.

TIAA-CREF, one of America’s leading financial services organizations, is the premier retirement system for higher education.

For the seventh consecutive year, TCC is ranked in the top 3 percent of more than 1,200 community colleges nationally in the number of associate degrees awarded in all disciplines.

TCC ranks second in granting associate degrees to Native American students, the highest rank among all Oklahoma 2-year colleges. Also, TCC is the only Oklahoma community college listed among the top 100 2-year colleges nationally in granting associate degrees to African-Americans.

The largest 2-year college in Oklahoma, TCC serves approximately 27,000 students per year in credit classes and more than 5,000 students in corporate and industry training, and continuing education classes. TCC information is available at

Updated 01-14-2005

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