What makes for an award-winning college math professor? An “uncanny” ability to simplify complicated concepts. A passion for undergraduate research. A dedication to student success beyond earning a degree. A commitment to math education for middle- and high school students. And a sense of humor.
These attributes and more have earned Steven Klee, PhD, assistant professor of mathematics, a prestigious 2017 Henry L. Alder Award from the Mathematical Association of America, which was announced today by the organization. The MAA awards up to only three of these annually “to honor beginning college or university faculty whose teaching has been extraordinarily successful and whose effectiveness in teaching undergraduate mathematics is shown to have influence beyond their own classrooms.”
Dr. Jennifer Loertscher, a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry, has been named the 2017 winner of the Provost’s Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching. Dr. Loertscher is a nationally recognized leader in the area of chemical education. She combines her passion for education with pedagogical research and has been the recipient of multiple National Science Foundation grant awards to study and disseminate best practices in science education. Her approach to active learning is carefully guided by the five principles of Ignatian pedagogy: context, experience, reflection, action, and evaluation. She demonstrates a deep care for students and a focus on educating the whole person.
Professor Mary Alberg of the Department of Physics has been named by the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust as the inaugural winner of the Lynnwood W. Swanson Scientific Research Award. This award “honors a professor whose work has gained national recognition, and demonstrated leadership in engaging undergraduate students and promoting research and their institution.” Mary was acknowledged at the Murdock College Science Research Conference for her work in theoretical nuclear physics (long supported by the National Science Foundation), her mentorship of undergraduate student researchers, and her founding of the Anacapa Society.
An October 2016 article in Crosscut.com notes that 45% of the full-time faculty and 40% of the students in the College of Science and Engineering are women. In the areas of engineering and computer science, 26% of the students are women.
In October 2016 Dean Michael Quinn delivered a keynote lecture at A Culture of Ethics: Engineering for Human Dignity and the Common Good, a conference hosted by the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. In his presentation, Quinn described the long-term benefits of a formal education in ethics, how ethics education fits the mission of Catholic universities, and the importance of developing courses that help students see the connections between ethics, current events, and their personal lives. Quinn’s lecture, “Tuning In to Ethics,” is now available online.
On October 18, Kristin Schauble, a senior electrical engineering major, placed first in the sixth annual NDConnect undergraduate research competition held at the University of Notre Dame. Her project, “Nucleating high-k dielectrics on MoS2 using plasma-enhanced atomic layer deposition (PEALD),” was completed at Duke University last summer under the supervision of Professor Aaron Franklin.
In March 2016 two seniors in mechanical engineering, Elias Baker and Brian Wu, were part of a team that won a $1,000 “Judges Also Really Liked” prize at the Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge, held at the University.
In March 2016 physics major Grace Jesensky won an “Outstanding Presentation” award at the national meeting of the American Physical Society in Baltimore.
In January 2016 a team of undergraduate and graduate students from the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering took first place and a $5,000 prize at the inaugural Iasa IT Architecture Competition.