February 17, 1998

Middlebury College Names Professor Stephen D. Abbott Recipient of the 1998 Perkins Award for Excellence in Teaching

Middlebury College has named Stephen D. Abbott, assistant professor of mathematics and computer science, the 1998 recipient of the Perkins Award for Excellence in Teaching. Abbott is a native of Davidson, North Carolina and a resident of Middlebury.

The award is given each year to a member of Middlebury College's natural sciences division, alternating each year between a faculty member in the mathematics and computer science department and a faculty member in one of the other four departments in the natural sciences division-biology, chemistry, geology and physics. As the award's name suggests, it honors outstanding performance as a teacher.

Abbott joined the Middlebury faculty in 1993 as an assistant professor. He has also taught as a visiting assistant professor at Saint Olaf College from 1992-1993 and 1995-1996, and as a graduate instructor at the University of Virginia from 1987-1992.

Abbott received his undergraduate degree in mathematics from Colgate University, where he was the valedictorian. He earned his master's and doctorate from the University of Virginia.

The Professor Llewellyn R. Perkins and Dr. Ruth M.H. Perkins Memorial Faculty Research Fund, which provides the award, was made possible by the gift of Dr. Ruth M.H. Perkins, a 1932 Middlebury graduate, in memory of her husband, Professor Llewellyn R. Perkins. Professor Perkins taught at Middlebury College from 1914 until his retirement in 1941. During the course of his tenure at Middlebury, he founded and chaired the mathematics department. Their children, Marion Perkins Harris, a 1957 Middlebury graduate and science teacher, and Dr. David L. Perkins, a physician, augmented the fund and expanded the scope of the award to honor their mother, Ruth, as well. She was a Vermont State Helping Teacher and a professor of math education at Temple University in Philadelphia.