MCS Teaching Awards, 2004-Mellon College of Science - Carnegie Mellon University

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

MCS Teaching Awards, 2004

Bruce Armitage, an associate professor in the Chemistry Department, is this year's winner of the Mellon College of Science's (MCS) Julius Ashkin Teaching Award. Armitage, who joined the MCS faculty in 1997, has set a new standard for teaching Organic Chemistry II, stated a nomination letter. For many undergraduates, an 8:30 am class in a challenging organic chemistry course is not something they look forward to. One student praised Armitage for “transform[ing] a class that I was dreading into my favorite class of the semester.” Many students wrote eloquently about his organization, humor, clarity, passion and enthusiasm for teaching, and dedication to each of his students. All of his courses, including Bioorganic, Honors and Supramolecular Organic Chemistry, received as much praise as his Organic II course. Also a remarkable research advisor, Armitage’s research group is always full. “Those students who have the honor and privilege to research under his supervision are receiving one of the best educational experiences of their lives,” wrote a group of former students in a nomination letter.

Daniel Hennessy, a graduate student in Physics, has been selected as the 2004 Hugh D. Young Graduate Teaching Award recipient. Many students commented on his patience, talent for fostering group work and cooperation in the lab, extensive knowledge of the subject matter and approachable personality. As one student wrote, “Dan is an especially remarkable instructor because he not only is approachable and good at answering questions, but he also takes an active interest in the education of the students and puts forth great effort to ensure their success.” Curtis Meyer, professor of physics, praised Hennessy’s ability “to probe students with questions about what they are doing in such a way that they actually figure things out for themselves, rather than being told.”