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Utah State University Carnegie Professors

Those who can, teach. Those who can't teach have to settle for something less.

Utah State University Carnegie Professors

That is the mantra of Michael Christiansen, professor of guitar at Utah State University and Utah's 2012 Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching Utah Professor of the Year. The award program recognizes higher education professionals across the United States and is administered by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education or CASE.

"From the get-go I knew that I wanted to be a musician and a teacher," Christiansen said. "When I was young, I performed at a family event and an uncle gave me a tip — some cash — for performing and I thought, 'Gee, this is a lot easier than mowing the lawn.' It was a pleasant surprise that I could make money doing this, and I've loved it."

One of 300 professors nominated from across the nation for the prestigious honor, Christiansen and his fellow honorees were recognized Nov. 15 at an award ceremony and reception in Washington, D.C. This year, a state Professor of the Year was recognized in 30 states and the District of Columbia and Christiansen is Utah's honoree.

The award salutes the most outstanding undergraduate educators in the country — those who excel in teaching and positively influence the lives and careers of students. The award program is the only national program that recognizes excellence in undergraduate teaching.

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