Middlebury College names Thomas
Root recipient of the Perkins Award for Excellence in

MIDDLEBURY, Vt.—Middlebury
College has named Professor of Biology Thomas Root the recipient of
the 2001 Perkins Award for Excellence in Teaching. At 4:15 p.m. on
Tuesday, Feb. 13, an award ceremony will be held in Room 104 of
Bicentennial Hall on Bicentennial Way off College Street (Route

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 this division—biology, chemistry, geology,
and physics. As the award’s name suggests, it honors outstanding
performance as a teacher.

Root earned a bachelor’s of
science in biology at the University of Detroit, and a master’s
and doctorate in zoology and physiology at the University of Wyoming.
From 1974 to 1979, he served at various times as a research
assistant, a teaching assistant, and a visiting instructor in biology
at the University of Wyoming. In 1979, Root joined the faculty of
Middlebury College as assistant professor of biology. In 1985, he
became an associate professor and a health professions
advisor—positions he held until 1990 when he was named
professor. Since then Root has served the College in a variety of
capacities, including director of the animal facility, director of
the program in neuroscience, and chair of the biology department. He
is a member of various scientific and research organizations and the
recipient of a number of grants.

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.

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