The Minerva Institute for Research and Scholarship, led by Executive Chairman Bob Kerrey, is a non-profit committed to making quality education accessible to qualified students, facilitating the administration of grant-funded research, and advocating for broad reform in higher education. By offering a variety of scholarship and loan programs, providing a mechanism for more efficient and effective grant administration for research, and recognizing thought leadership in higher education through the Minerva Academy and Prize, the Minerva Institute is dedicated to solutions that will improve higher education on a global scale.

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American sculptor Mark di Suvero works with abstract forms on a massive scale. His use of industrial materials and kinetic elements makes these monuments both monolithic and dynamic. Part of the Abstract Expressionist school, di Suvero has won multiple awards, including a Lifetime Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture from the International Sculpture Center. Shown here on San Francisco’s Crissy Field, eight pieces were installed as part of the SFMOMA program On The Go.

Mark di Suvero

Minerva Academy

Nobel Laureate Roger Kornberg, Governor of the Minerva Academy, speaks about the importance of recognizing and rewarding excellence in teaching.

The Minerva Institute houses the Minerva Academy, a distinguished society of educators. Nobel Laureate Dr. Roger Kornberg serves as Governor of the Academy, an honorary institution and forum for open exchange of new ideas and enhanced practices in higher education instruction.

The Academy awards the Minerva Prize, a distinguished honor and $500,000 award designed to recognize extraordinary advancements in teaching innovation, excellence and impact.

Academy Members

On March 12, 2014, the Minerva Institute for Research and Scholarship announced the induction of fourteen educational innovators to the Minerva Academy, an honorary institution dedicated to promoting and rewarding extraordinary advancements and innovation in higher education teaching around the world. The newly inducted honorees’ are honored for their contributions and innovative thinking in the area of teaching excellence. Their backgrounds range from law to psychology to engineering and include award-winning authors, researchers and policy leaders.

“Welcoming these distinguished educators as founding members of the Minerva Academy is a way to honor and recognize their contributions and accomplishments in teaching innovation,” said Dr. Roger Kornberg. “I look forward to working with my esteemed colleagues to award the Minerva Prize later this spring, recognizing an educator who has made a significant impact through major innovation in higher education.”

The newly inducted Minerva Academy members include:

  • Dr. Lloyd Armstrong, Provost Emeritus and University Professor of Education and of Physics, University of Southern California
  • Dr. Ken Bain, President, Best Teachers Institute
  • Dr. Derek Bok, 300th Anniversary University Research Professor, Professor of Law, and University President Emeritus, Harvard University
  • Dr. Cathy Davidson, Distinguished Professor and Director, The Futures Initiative, The Graduate School, City University of New York and Distinguished Visiting Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies, Duke University
  • Dr. Al Filreis, Kelly Family Professor of English, Director, Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing, Faculty Director, and Kelly Writers House, University of Pennsylvania
  • Dr. Diane Halpern, Dean of the College of Social Sciences, Minerva Schools at KGI
  • Dr. Stephen Kosslyn, Founding Dean, Minerva Schools at KGI
  • Dr. Daniel Levitin, Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities, Minerva Schools at KGI
  • Dr. Eric Mazur, Balkanski Professor of Physics and Applied Physics and Dean of Applied Physics, Harvard University
  • Dr. Roger Schank, founder and CEO, Socratic Arts and XTOL
  • Dr. Sheri Sheppard, Associate Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University
  • Dr. Lee Shulman, Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education Emeritus, Stanford University; President Emeritus, Carnegie Foundation
  • Dr. Jennifer Summit, Dean of Undergraduate Studies, San Francisco State
  • Dr. Daniel Willingham, Professor of Psychology, University of Virginia

Minerva Prize


$500,000 Minerva Prize for Advancements in Higher Education Awarded to Dr. Eric Mazur

On October 30, 2014, Dr. Eric Mazur was awarded the first Minerva Prize for Advancements in Higher Education at a reception at the Minerva Academy Summit in San Francisco, California. Nobel Laureate Dr. Roger Kornberg, Governor of the Minerva Academy, presented Dr. Mazur with the award and $500,000 cash prize. Members of the Academy and other special guests were in attendance.

In recognizing Dr. Mazur for his significant contributions to improving higher education, the Academy specifically noted his development of Peer Instruction, an innovative teaching method that incorporates interactive pedagogy into the classroom and has been recognized worldwide for driving dramatic improvements in student learning.

Dr. Mazur is the Balkanski Professor of Physics and Applied Physics and Area Dean for Applied Physics at Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. The Minerva Prize recognizes one faculty member from any institution worldwide who has made a significant impact on student learning experiences through extraordinary innovation in higher education. Dr. Mazur was announced as the first winner of the Minerva Prize on May 20, 2014.

Read the full press release.