Dr. Richard Foote, professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, has been named the recipient of the 2013 George V. Kidder Outstanding Faculty Award by the University of Vermont (UVM) Alumni Association. While many faculty, alumni, and students wrote in support of the nomination, the sentiment of the advocates can best be represented in the words of a former student who wrote, “Professor Foote does not teach. He changes lives.”
A member of the faculty since 1981, and a previous winner of the Kroepsch-Maurice Excellence in Teaching Award (1990), Dr. Foote of Shelburne was nominated for his effectiveness as a teacher, including: his ability to provoke student interest and enthusiasm; his commitment to student advising; his effectiveness in motivating students in ways that have a lasting influence on their lives; and his ability to constructively influence campus life beyond the classroom.
“I view this [Kidder] award as really a tribute to all the students, faculty, and staff I have had the privilege of working with,” says Dr. Foote. “I have been especially lucky to have such wonderful and gifted people to first have as students, and then as (often long-distant) colleagues and friends, and to keep in touch with as they go on in life to so many outstanding and diverse accomplishments. I am deeply touched by all their appreciation; and I remember vividly and with enduring fondness the classes, help sessions, meetings, flashes of revelation, hours of struggle, joyful triumphs, and just the simple one-on-one friendly conversations with so many marvelous students over my 30 plus years at UVM.”
“This prestigious recognition of Dr. Foote reflects the academic excellence found within the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences (CEMS) and its faculty,” said Bernard “Chip” Cole, Interim Dean of the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences. “Richard is also well known worldwide for his much-admired advanced algebra textbook, ‘Abstract Algebra,’ which is co-authored with UVM colleague David Dummit.” Now in its third edition, this is the most widely used Abstract Algebra graduate textbook in the country.
Dr. Foote has opened the world of mathematics to countless undergraduate, Master’s, and PhD students. Many of those have continued on to serve UVM, while many others hold faculty positions at other colleges or high schools.
The George V. Kidder Award
For more than 25 years, the George V. Kidder Outstanding Faculty Award has been synonymous with quality teaching and dedication to the enhancement of the academic experience for undergraduate students at UVM. The Kidder Award is presented annually in honor of Dean Emeritus George V. Kidder ‘22, who loyally served UVM for more than seventy years. He touched the lives of thousands of students, now alumni, who fondly remember him for his insight and encouragement, which left a lasting impact on their lives. The inspiration of George Kidder’s example gives this award its special meaning.