Col. Tom Akers, instructor of mathematics and statistics at the University of Missouri-Rolla, is the recipient of a 2004 Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.
Gov. Bob Holden and members of the Missouri Coordinating Board for Higher Education recognized Akers and 72 other recipients during the Governor’s Conference on Higher Education held Dec. 1 in Columbia, Mo.
The awards, which are not monetary, are based on effective teaching, innovative course design and delivery, effective advising, service to the university community, commitment to high standards of excellence and success in nurturing student achievement.
Akers, a retired NASA astronaut, taught and served as principal of Eminence (Mo.) High School before joining the Air Force in 1979. He was selected into the NASA astronaut training program in 1987. He later served as commander of the Air Force ROTC program at UMR.
A veteran of four space flights, Akers has logged more than 29 hours of space walking experience. His shuttle missions include the December 1993 mission that successfully grappled and repaired the Hubble Space Telescope.
At UMR, Akers has received numerous Outstanding Teaching Awards and College of Arts and Sciences Excellence in Teaching Awards.
Akers received bachelor of science and master of science degrees in applied mathematics from UMR in 1973 and 1975, respectively. Akers is from Eminence, Mo.