SMC History professor Cole Cheek awarded SCICU Excellence in Teaching Award


SMC History professor Cole Cheek awarded SCICU Excellence in Teaching Award

Dr. Cole Cheek, SMC professor of history and anthropology, has been awarded the Excellence in Teaching Award from South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (SCICU).

Winners, who are nominated by their peers, receive a $3,000 professional development grant and are honored at an awards dinner April 12. Last year’s winner from SMC was Dr. J. Kristian Pratt.

According to SCICU’s guidelines, winners of the Excellence in Teaching Award are educators who “work one-on-one with students whom they also serve as advisers, mentors and friends. They are dedicated and committed professionals who work long and hard to be the best in their particular academic disciple in order to instruct and guide future generations as their life’s work. These professionals are value-centered, passionate, creative and caring.”

Nominators for Cheek noted that he was a “passionate teacher who cares for his students,” and that “he works incredibly hard for his students and advisees, and he raises the academic bar for his colleagues. He is the epitome of what liberal arts education is all about.”

Cheek began teaching at SMC in 2008. He received his master’s and Ph.D. degrees in U.S. history from Mississippi State University.

SCICU is a charitable organization that represents 20 liberal arts institutions in South Carolina. SCICU provides support for its member institutions by fundraising and supplementing scholarships and research. In order to become a member of SCICU, a school must be either a four- or two-year liberal arts college or university, be accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and be a nonprofit institution based in South Carolina.


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