Charles Lucy (2012)

lucyAffiliation at the time of the award: University of Alberta, Chemistry.

Citation: “I feel privileged to be a professor,” writes Chuck Lucy, who arrived in a Chemistry Department recognized for outstanding research and catalyzed the process of making a department, known also for its excellence in teaching, an “outstanding” learning environment. “He has a magical way of capturing his audience,” says a former student. Magic and humour permeate the testimonials to this “phenomenal and inspiring teacher.” In large classes, Chuck says he strives mightily to remember every student’s name. The entire class considers questions large and small in e-mail exchanges.

Charles Lucy is a pedagogical leader at the University of Alberta, creating, with 3M Fellow Glen Loppnow, formal and informal opportunities for science colleagues to engage in the scholarship of teaching. Nationally and internationally, Chuck has made his influence felt: “I continue to look to Chuck for inspiration and guidance” (a San Diego colleague). Charles Lucy, however, is more modest: “I have neither the swagger of John Wayne nor the charisma of Hawkeye Pierce. Rather, I most associate with Charlie Brown. As Charlie Brown seeks to find the meaning of Christmas, I seek to find the essence of teaching and learning. I am a sponge for the environment around me—you learn from everything.”