Mechanical engineering professor receives Excellence in Teaching Award
CLEMSON — Cecil Huey, professor emeritus of mechanical engineering, has been recognized by Clemson University Student Government with the 2009-2010 Excellence in Teaching Award.
The award, sponsored by student government and Fluor Corp., is based on student nominations and evaluations. Huey received a $2,500 grant to use for educational travel.
Huey is a Clemson alumnus, receiving his bachelor's, master's and Ph.D. from Clemson. He joined the Clemson faculty in 1975 after serving as an assistant professor for two years at Georgia Southern University. He teaches and conducts research in the general area of machine design. He retired from the university in 2006, but returned to continue teaching and advising students, as well as taking on some administrative duties in the mechanical engineering department.
Huey served as the faculty athletics representative from 1993 to 2006 and chaired the university’s Athletic Council for two years. He was president of the Atlantic Coast Conference for two terms and served on committees for the ACC and the NCAA. The Clemson athletic department named an award in his honor that is given annually to an outstanding senior student-athlete. The Cecil O. Huey Jr. Freshman Study and Program Room in the Vickery Athletic Academic Support Center also is named in his honor.
Huey has been recognized for his teaching with several awards, including the College of Engineering and Science’s Murray Stokely Award for Teaching Excellence, the Eugene H. Bishop Teaching Award given by the Pi Tau Sigma Student Council and the Class of 1939 Award for Faculty Excellence. He also was named Engineering Educator of the Year by the Piedmont Chapter of the South Carolina Society of Professional Engineers and received the AT&T Award for Excellence in Teaching by the Southeast Section of the American Society for Engineering Education.
One student nominator wrote that Huey is an effective teacher because he encourages students to “think outside the box” and gives them the skills they need to tackle “real-world” engineering problems.
The student recounted an experience he had after being in one of Huey’s more popular classes for a semester: “The opinion these students had of Dr. Huey became very clear at the end of the semester. I witnessed something I had not seen happen in all my years of education. At the end of the final class of the semester, Dr. Huey received a standing ovation from the entire class in a unanimous action by students.”
“I am so honored, especially since this award comes from students,” Huey said. “That makes it very special. Educators have to operate with a certain faith that what you do has beneficial consequences, but you never truly know because the results of your work always happen later and someplace else. So when this kind of thing comes along, it makes you feel good about what you’re doing.”