UNM’s College of Arts and Sciences recently awarded two faculty, Professor Hua Guo and Teaching Assistant Lindsey Ives, with its 2013 Arts & Sciences Award for Teaching Excellence.
Guo, who has a dual appointment in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, and Physics, teaches physical chemistry, while Ives teaches in the English Department’s Core Writing Program.
Guo's research specialty is in the area of Theoretical and Computational Chemistry. Guo stood out amongst the rest of the nominees based on his work in successfully teaching difficult areas of chemistry. In addition to his work with advanced students and graduate students, he is also involved in the revision of the general chemistry curriculum.
Guo has taught for more than 20 years and enjoys interacting with and teaching students. “This is a recognition of the things we do in chemistry and other science disciplines,” he said. “I’m very honored and pleased to be selected. I still run into former students at hospitals and drug stores and they still remember me and the class. It’s very rewarding.”
In addition to his work with advanced students and graduate students, he is also involved in the revision of the general chemistry curriculum.
“Chemistry is known as a killer class,” Guo said. “It’s one of the toughest classes at a university. How do you teach something that’s very hard? Sometimes you have to hold students’ hand through the difficult part, and then you have to challenge them to bring out their motivation to do the work and learn the hard things.”
Ives' specialties include civil rights rhetoric and second language writing. She was selected for the award based on her work in teaching the Practicum in Teaching Composition, and in helping to develop and teach the new "Stretch 101" course. Ives was noted as a great role model for other TAs and an asset in administering the Core Writing program. “Her contribution to the University is far beyond the norm for teaching assistants,” her nomination said.
Faculty nominees were evaluated on the basis of the breadth and quality of their instructional contributions. Preference was given to those who have demonstrated instructional excellence at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, through both classroom instruction and supervision of student research, who have integrated their research and scholarship into their teaching, and who developed particularly thoughtful teaching portfolios.
Graduate teaching assistants were evaluated primarily on the quality of their undergraduate teaching and the strength of their contributions to their department’s instructional mission.