Seattle University Faculty Member Honored as Professor of the Year


SEATTLE, WA-Seattle University Chemistry Professor Vicky Minderhout, Ph.D. has been honored as Washington’s Professor of the Year. Sponsored and selected by The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), Minderhout is the only professor in the state to receive the award this year, and one of just 27 in the nation.

At a ceremony in Washington, D.C. last week, Minderhout received accolades for changing the way science is taught in higher education. After decades of lecturing, Minderhout decided to try a more effective approach to teaching and switched to what she calls, “Active Learning,” where she considers herself a coach. Students work in groups and Minderhout teaches and supports them - but not from the front of the classroom.

“I’ve worked steadily to improve my ability as a coach in student learning and student thinking,” said Vicky Minderhout, professor of chemistry. “I would not be where I am today without all of my students. They have helped make me the teacher that I am.”

Minderhout’s curriculum is now being replicated in universities across the country and on the SU campus. Many of her former students have gone on to pursue graduate study in science and technology and are now physicians, scientists and innovators in a variety of fields.

“Vicky’s profound commitment to the professional and personal formation of each and every one of her students goes straight to the heart of our Jesuit educational mission,” said SU President Stephen Sundborg, S.J. “Vicky exemplifies what we do best at Seattle University, inspiring students and preparing them for leadership.”

The SU campus community also honored Minderhout with a celebration and remarks by President Sundborg, representatives of the Institute for Systems Biology, students and a guest appearance by her 91-year-old mother.

The U.S. Professors of the Year program salutes the most outstanding undergraduate instructors in the country-those who excel in teaching and positively influence the lives and careers of students. It is the only national program to recognize excellence in undergraduate teaching and mentorship.

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