• Black Gospel Music Restoration Project prof recognized for teaching, research and service

    Robert DardenAs students vote on the Collins Outstanding Professor, a faculty committee each spring also selects the recipient of the Cornelia Marschall Smith Award. Based on teaching, research and service, this year’s recipient is Robert Darden, BSED ’76, the associate professor of journalism and media arts in the College of Arts and Sciences who has become known for his work on the Black Gospel Music Restoration Project.

    “His teaching in introductory classes, as well as specialized upper-level courses, is routinely praised by students,” said Dr. James Bennighof, representing the provost’s office. “His research and writing have ranged widely from scholarly publications to a variety of other books, essays, articles and film projects, and all of this work has been reflected as well in multiple instances of service, most notably his initiative in establishing the massive and vital Black Gospel Music Restoration Project.”

    “For someone who attended Baylor, few awards could mean as much as one named for one of the university’s great heroes, Dr. Cornelia Marschall Smith,” Darden said from Scotland, where he was giving a lecture at the University of Edinburgh while on a semester-long sabbatical. “I’m greatly touched, and I promise to continue to strive towards the level of excellence in teaching and research that Dr. Cornelia attained throughout her long and brilliant career.”

    Darden joins Dr. Tom Hanks, Dr. Kevin Pinney, Dr. Wallace Daniel and others among recent recipients of the Cornelia Marschall Smith Award. The honor brings with it a $20,000 award and the opportunity to give a special public lecture this fall.

    It’s interesting to note that this year’s Collins Outstanding Professor (Dr. Marcie Moehnke, MS ’03, PhD ’05) and this year’s Cornelia Marschall Smith Award winner (Darden) are both Baylor graduates as well as Baylor professors — proof that BU not only values great teachers, but produces them as well!

    Sic ’em, Prof. Darden!