February 19, 1999

Middlebury College Names Jeffrey Byers Recipient of the 1999 Perkins Award for Excellence in Teaching

Middlebury College has named Professor of Chemistry Jeffrey H. Byers the 1999 recipient of the Perkins Award for Excellence in Teaching. On Monday, February 22 at 4:15 p.m., an award presentation will take place in the second-floor conference area of the Science Center.

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.

Byers received a bachelor's of science degree from the University of Rochester in 1979 and a doctorate from Dartmouth College in 1984. He held a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Utah before joining the Middlebury faculty in 1986.

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.