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Natural Sciences Faculty Win Awards for Teaching, Inspiring Students

Natural Sciences Faculty Win Awards for Teaching, Inspiring Students

Several faculty in the College of Natural Sciences have been named the recipients of University-wide awards for their efforts to motivate and educate students at The University of Texas at Austin.

Calvin Lin

Among the awards are a few sponsored by the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, recognizing outstanding contributions to undergraduate teaching at UT Austin.

"I am proud to honor and congratulate each one of the award recipients on their achievements and well-deserved recognition," said Maurie McInnis, executive vice president and provost. "They inspire their students and are tremendous assets to the university."

Calvin Lin, a Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Department of Computer Science, won the 2019-20 William David Blunk Memorial Professorship. The professorship recognizes a member of the faculty who has demonstrated an exceptional record in undergraduate teaching, and who shows special interest in and on behalf of undergraduate students.

Peter Stone

Lin directs the Turing Scholars program, which he established in 2002 to create a tight-knit community focused on research and academic challenges for undergraduates. He previously won a Jean Holloway Award for Excellence in Teaching, a President's Associates Teaching Excellence Award, a Regents Outstanding Teaching Award and a College of Natural Sciences Teaching Excellence Award.

Lin's colleague in the Department of Computer Science, Peter Stone, also recently won a major teaching award, the Minnie Stevens Piper Teaching Award, sponsored by the Minnie Stevens Sponsor Foundation.

Kate Biberdorf

Kate Biberdorf, an associate professor of instruction in the Department of Chemistry, earned one of four endowed 2019-20 Dads' Association Centennial Teaching Fellowships. These fellowships recognize faculty members who have demonstrated excellence in teaching and made significant contributions to undergraduate education.

Biberdorf joined the faculty after earning her Ph.D. in chemistry from UT Austin in 2014. In addition to her classroom teaching responsibilities, she created the Fun with Chemistry outreach program, which goes to local schools to inspire a love of learning in K-12 students with engaging and explosive demonstrations. Biberdorf previously won a Natural Science Foundation Teaching Award and was named one of the The Alcalde's Texas 10 in 2017.

Three other faculty members at UT Austin also received Centennial Teaching Fellowships: H.W. Brands from the Department of History, Neville Hoad from the Department of English and Robert Quigley from the School of Journalism.

David Hoffman

Additionally, The Alcalde selected David Hoffman, an associate professor in the Department of Molecular Biosciences, for its annual "Texas 10" list. Nominated by the alumni community and celebrated in the Texas Exes' publication, the Texas 10 are dedicated educators who have had a profound impact on the lives of their students.

Hoffman began his career at UT Austin 26 years ago, but concentrated on research at first. About seven years ago, he decided to shut down his lab and shift his focus to teaching.

"It's fun to do and socially valuable," he told The Alcalde. "I have a bit of an aptitude for explaining things."

Hoffman's efforts previously earned him a College of Natural Sciences Teaching Excellence Award.

Read more about Hoffman and the other Texas 10 in The Alcalde.

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Wednesday, 26 January 2022

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