Montevallo printmaker named 2006 CASE Professor of the Year

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 22, 2006

A University of Montevallo printmaker will soon find his own name stamped on an award dubbing him Alabama&8217;s top professor.

Art professor Scott Stephens was selected from more than 300 educators as the 2006 Alabama CASE Professor of the Year. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education gives the annual award.

Officials from both groups announced the Professor of the Year winners on Thursday, Nov. 16 in Washington, D.C.

&8220;This is a truly significant honor and one of which Professor Stephens is most deserving,&8221; said Wayne C. Seelbach, provost and vice president for academic affairs at UM. &8220;His dedication to excellence in teaching has brought recognition not only to him, but also to the University. His students are fortunate to have an opportunity to learn from an artist and educator of his caliber.&8221;

A faculty member at Montevallo since 1983, Stephens is head of the art department&8217;s printmaking division. An accomplished artist, Stephens&8217; prints have been shown in more than 100 exhibitions, and he has earned fellowships from the Southern Arts Federation and the Alabama State Council of the Arts.

For his classroom work, he was recognized as Montevallo&8217;s College of Fine Arts Distinguished Teacher in 1986 and as the University Scholar in 1991.

One of Stephens&8217; biggest contributions to Montevallo is a 44-by-84-inch Takach etching press, which the University acquired in 2000 through his leadership. Montevallo is the only public college or university in the state with this type of student-accessed press.

Stephens also organized several workshops in which professional artists train with UM students.

He said of the arts in particular, &8220;Teachers should model the professional practices of their discipline. My own undergraduate mentor made his art a part of his teaching. I try to do the same for my students.&8221;

Since the inception of the CASE state awards in 1985, Montevallo has had more State Professors of the Year than any other Alabama institution.

In addition to Stephens, other Montevallo award winners are Ted Metz, also an art professor, who received the honor in 1997; Elaine W. Hughes, professor of English and director of academic program initiatives, the award winner in 1998; Edwin Robertson, emeritus professor of music, who was named Professor of the Year in 2004; and Scott Peterson, professor of biology and chair of the department of biology, chemistry and mathematics, who was selected as Arkansas&8217; Professor of the Year in 1994