West Virginia University physics professor Boyd Edwards has been awarded the schools first University professorship, the Russell and Ruth Bolton WVU Professorship, Provost Gerald Lang announced.

The professorship is awarded to a faculty member in the general University based on a continued record of outstanding teaching, significant contributions to higher education, disciplinary recognition and past experience in improving undergraduate instruction.

Edwards was chosen from among 15 strong candidates, Dr. Lang said.

In his interview, Dr. Edwards demonstrated an infectious commitment to student success both in and out of the classroom,Lang said.I know the Boltons will be pleased that Dr. Edwards carries their name as the first Bolton WVU Professor.

Earl Scime, chairman of the Department of Physics, said Edwards is one of the finest teachers on the WVU campus.

He constantly looks for new methods of instruction and has successfully incorporated new technologies into his classroom teaching,Dr. Scime said.

Past examples of this include obtaining individual telescopes for students in his astronomy classes; introducing an online homework system in his Physics 111 and 112 classes, which has coincided with an abrupt drop of students with unsatisfactory grades; and implementing the Personal Response System in large lectures, which gives a real-time account of student understanding. Since coming to WVU in 1986, 91 percent of students he has taught rank him as among the best instructors with whom they have studied.

As Bolton Professor, Edwards has several plans to improve undergraduate education, including seeking National Science Foundation funding for teaching innovations at WVU , a lecture series by world-renowned experts in science education, and helping other instructors incorporate technology into the classroom.

I am honored to receive this professorship, which reflects the strong commitment of West Virginia University to provide outstanding educations to our undergraduate students,said Edwards, who has taught at WVU since 1986.I am deeply grateful to the Boltons for their generosity.

Edwards is a previous recipient of the June Harless Award for Exceptional Teaching, the WVU Foundation Outstanding Teaching Award, and the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Teaching Award.