Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Peter Berget Receives the Julius Ashkin Award
Profound dedication to teaching. Passion for scientific discovery. Incorporation of novel scientific material and new pedagogical methods into courses. Exceptional mentoring skills. These are just some of the ways students and colleagues describe Peter Berget, this year’s recipient of the Julius Ashkin Award for Excellence in Teaching. Berget, associate professor of biological sciences, has been teaching for more than two decades and his passion for science continues to inspire students every day. A former student wrote, “I can say with the utmost confidence that my successes during my undergraduate as well as my post-graduate career are attributable to his sound teaching methods.” Added another student, “He recognized the potential in me long before I saw it in myself.” Colleagues describe him as an innovator in the classroom and laboratory who is always working on new curricular ideas and approaches. Together with the late Beth Jones, Berget pioneered the Summer Research Institute, a program that immerses rising sophomores in advanced molecular biology laboratory techniques during an intense summer experience. “His excitement in both the projects we performed and the biological sciences in general was truly infectious, and he made it a pleasure to come to the lab each morning to learn more about science and research,” wrote a student who participated in the program. Berget’s dedication to teaching and mentoring budding scientists extends beyond the college classroom. For several years he directed the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Sciences; his many years of service were recently recognized by the National Conference of Governor’s Schools.
The Julius Ashkin Award is presented to a faculty member who has shown unusual devotion and effectiveness in teaching undergraduate students.