It may not roll out red carpet, but the Foundation hands out plenty of awards

  • Mar 1, 2012
  • awards
  • Phyllis Miller

Remember that wonderful teacher you had? The one who made school really interesting for you? The one who cared about what you did and how you did it?

A study done by three economists, two at Harvard and one at Columbia, measured the impact teachers had on student test scores and found elementary and middle school teachers who help raise their students’ scores “seem to have a wideranging, lasting positive effect on those students’ lives beyond academics, including lower teenage-pregnancy rates and greater college matriculation and adult earnings,” according to the New York Times. Tracking 2.5 million students over 20 years, the researchers also found the “difference in long-term outcome between students who have average teachers and those with poor-performing ones is as significant as the difference between those who have excellent teachers and those with average ones.”

You must have had an outstanding teacher somewhere along the way. If you're in Mensa, why not recognize how important this teacher was to you by nominating him or her for the Mensa Distinguished Teacher Award? This award recognizes a teacher, professor or instructor at any educational level who has had an especially positive influence on the education or life of a Mensa member or the member’s dependent. (You can submit a nomination letter for yourself or dependent.)

The Distinguished Teacher Award is one of many ways the Mensa Foundation recognizes and supports human intelligence. Others include:

  • The Copper Black Award for Creative Achievement was named for a Mensan who left a bequest to establish this prize, which is given to a Mensan for a specific creative achievement that has been demonstrated to be of practical value or for an innovation that has been implemented to the advantage of persons other than the nominee. If you’re an American Mensan who has done anything like this, you’re eligible for the Copper Black Award.
  • The International Intellectual Benefits to Society Award recognizes the application of a Mensan’s intellectual abilities that have resulted in a tangible benefit to society. These innovative activities may include educational programs, intellectual research and development, business programs, and so many other ways of benefiting society. Special consideration is given to the number of people impacted.
  • The Mensa Press Award recognizes excellence in newspaper and magazine writing about human intelligence for a general audience; it is designed to encourage reporters and editors to spread the latest news about intelligence to lay audiences. Although this award has been temporarily suspended, if you see a really good article, let us know.
  • The Awards for Excellence in Research are the Foundation’s longest-running awards program. If you are a scholar or researcher in any of the many fields that study human intelligence, you may be eligible. These annual awards are given for outstanding research on intelligence, intellectual giftedness and related fields. If you have published an appropriate paper in a peer-reviewed journal or presented it at a peer-reviewed conference within the past three years, consider submitting it for this award.
  • The Lifetime Achievement Award goes to a scholar or researcher with a long and distinguished career. This coveted prize recognizes a lifetime of contributions to the field of intelligence through an exceptional body of work in research, theory or other scholarly work over a period of not less than 15 years. The body of work should have contributed significantly in unique or innovative findings, theoretical constructs, educational approaches, or practices and/or have made exceptional practical application of others’ research.

The deadlines for these awards are fast approaching, so think about that teacher who changed your life or the creative or innovative work you have done. Don’t they deserve some recognition? Don’t you? Get more information through the links above or email