Gene Poor named ‘2004 Master Teacher’

BOWLING GREEN, O.—Dr. Gene Poor, a professor of visual communication and technology education, was chosen by the Student Alumni Association to receive the 2004 Master Teacher Award at Bowling Green State University.

Considered the highest award given to faculty, it carries a $1,000 cash prize and a plaque in the recipient’s honor.

Poor, who came to the University in 1970 as a doctoral fellow and later founded the VCTE department, is widely known for his pioneering work in the field of animatronics but equally, on campus, for his dedication to his students.

Mary Kay Coulter, a senior from New Knoxville, said of her experience in Poor’s class, “He has such a passion in the way he teaches that you’d never get bored. He made me want to learn what he was teaching. And he was always willing to help students with anything they needed, even if he wasn’t their adviser.”

Receiving the Master Teacher Award caps a series of other recognitions Poor has received throughout his career for his work with students. In 1999, he was given the Outstanding Adviser Certificate of Merit by the National Academic Advising Association. At BGSU, he received the 1997-98 College of Technology Adviser of the Year Award and was named co-recipient of the 1998 University Outstanding Adviser Award. The Undergraduate Student Government presented him the Excellence in Teaching Award in 1985.

Earlier this year, the award-winning professor was among those to receive the northwest Ohio 2004 “Entrepreneur of the Year Award” presented by the accounting firm Ernst & Young.

Poor is the owner of LifeFormations, an animatronics studio in Bowling Green. About a third of LifeFormations’ employees are BGSU graduates who have completed technology internships with the company.

In addition to teaching and running the company, Poor has written two books, “The Illusion of Life: Lifelike Robotics,” published in 1991 by Creative Learning Systems, and “Animatronics: A Designer’s Resource Guide,” co-authored with Dr. Rodney Heiligmann, an assistant professor in the VCTE department, and published in 2003 by Ian Hunter Publishers.

(Posted November 15, 2004 )