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Judith Best is a Distinguished Teacher of Political Science at SUNY Cortland. She received her Ph.D. in political science from Cornell University in 1971 and her Masters Degree in English Literature from the University of Michigan in 1963. She received the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1977; the American Higher Education and Carnegie Foundation Honor Salute for Educational Leadership in 1986; and the Gerald DiGiusto Award to the Outstanding Member of the Faculty in 1989. She was promoted to the rank of Distinguished Teaching Professor by the SUNY Chancellor in 1984.
Before coming to Cortland, Dr. Best taught English at Ithaca College and later American Government at Cornell. At Cornell, she also was a member of the Cornell Energy Project where she worked on and published articles on state regulations concerning power plant issues. On their request, she testified before the Atomic Energy Commission and the Federal Power Commission.