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Barnett named professor of the year
The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education have named the Lynch School of Education’s G. Michael Barnett the 2012 Massachusetts Professor of the Year. The award recognizes excellence in teaching and mentoring.
Barnett, who joined Boston College in 2003 after earning a Ph.D. from Indiana University, specializes in urban science education. In October the National Science Foundation awarded him a $250,000 grant to expand the hydroponic gardening project he began two years ago as part of the Lynch School’s College Bound mentoring program. The venture has so far created indoor vertical farms at six local schools, from Brighton’s St. Columbkille (pre-K through 8) to Boston Latin, a public exam high school. Through the program, some 500 youths, assisted by undergraduate volunteers, grow and sell lettuce, bok choy, and other produce at local farmers’ markets year-round, with attendant lessons in sustainability, engineering, and math, as well as the entrepreneurial experience. The ultimate goal, says Barnett, is “to get [children] excited enough about science that they want to go off to college.”
Among Barnett’s courses at the Heights is Living Earth II, subtitled “Science for Future Presidents” to lure the non-science major. “A lot of Boston College students end up in Washington, D.C.,” he says. “I want them to know some science.”
Barnett is the fourth Boston College professor to earn the state Professor of the Year distinction. Thomas F. Rattigan Professor Emeritus of English John Mahoney received the honor in 1989, economics professor Richard Tresch in 1996, and associate professor of education Audrey Friedman in 2009.
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