Jack Jensen Award for Excellence in Teaching

The Jack Jensen Award for Excellence in Teaching is the college’s highest teaching award. It recognizes the fundamental importance of the quality of teaching in determining the value of the educational process, supports faculty in their pursuit of excellence in teaching and leadership in the campus community, and celebrates those who dedicate themselves to the teaching profession. Presented annually to a faculty member who has made a distinct, positive difference in the college’s academic climate, the award honors the late Professor Jack Jensen, who, through his dedication to teaching, inspired faculty and students alike.

Chery A. Whipple

Assistant Professor School of Arts & Sciences

Professor Chery Whipple, Ph.D., joined the Colby-Sawyer College faculty in 2017 after spending 12 years researching pancreatic and skin cancer at Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s Norris Cotton Cancer Center. She teaches courses in biology, microbiology, genetics, anatomy and physiology and laboratory techniques and has recently developed two new integrative study courses: a field course in Belize on tropical communities and a cancer epidemiology course.

Chery is particularly interested in guiding undergraduate research projects and is an instructor in the biomedical summer research course supported by the New Hampshire IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (NH-INBRE). She views teaching as a team activity in which it is her role to share knowledge and support the development of a critical mind. She utilizes a wide range of teaching techniques, incorporating real world examples, encouraging review of current literature and posing questions that require hypothesis-driven problem-solving skills.

“It is the moments when a student succeeds, when they find their passion for a topic, they gain confidence in a new ability or make a connection outside of the classroom that invigorate me,” Chery says.

One student nominator wrote, “Chery enlightened me and showed me that I am here for more than just school. She refers to so many different opportunities that I could be interested in and always gives endless support.”

Another nominator wrote, “Chery is one of the most enthusiastic professors I have met. She loves what she does, the classes she teaches and the students. She is always excited to share her knowledge and strives to make learning and scientific inquiry fun, all while communicating high expectations.”

Chery earned a B.S. in biology from Lake Erie College and an M.S. in education and a Ph.D. in genetics from the University of New Hampshire. At Colby-Sawyer, she is faculty representative to the Board of Trustees, chair of the Faculty Development Committee and member of the Faculty Personnel Committee. She is a volunteer and board member with the New Hampshire Academy of Science (NHAS) and was recently awarded two grants that will advance science research at the college and throughout the state.

Chery lives in New London with her husband, Josh, their children, Samuel and Lillian, and their yellow lab, Gus. As recipient of the Jack Jensen Award for Excellence in Teaching, Chery will deliver the college’s 183rd Commencement address on Saturday, May 8.