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E-Council awards five teachers from chemical and biological engineering

Katelyn Randazzo wins 2018 Excellence in Teaching Award. Photo by Scott Lyon

The Princeton Engineering Council honored five instructors this week from the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering with its annual Excellence in Teaching Awards. Winners of the award include professor Richard Register, visiting research scholar C. Morris Smith, and graduate students Michail Alifierakis, Chet Markwalter and Katelyn Randazzo.

The award came as a surprise to Randazzo, who, as a first-time teacher, felt apprehension heading into the semester. She assisted professor Robert Prud’homme in teaching CBE250 “Separations” in the fall.

“The students were great,” Randazzo said. “I learned a lot from them. And it’s nice to get this validation, knowing it was a two-way street.” When asked what she thought contributed to her success, she credited Prud’homme’s guidance and the willingness of her students to take risks. “I tried to create a space where they could learn and not feel judged,” she said.

Richard Register, the Eugene Higgins Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering, was honored for teaching CBE544 “Solid-State Properties of Polymers.”

Dr. C. Morris Smith was honored for teaching CBE442 “Design, Synthesis, and Optimization.”

Michail Alifierakis was honored as preceptor for CBE246 “Thermodynamics.”

Chet Markwalter was honored as preceptor for CBE346 “Chemical Engineering Laboratory.”

Excellence in Teaching Award Winners from chemical and biological engineering

The Excellence in Teaching Awards are run by the joint Graduate Engineering Council and Undergraduate Engineering Council, and have been given for more than three decades. For the first time this year, nominations were categorized into three groups — lower level, upper level, and associated courses — to allow instructors with fewer students to have similar odds as those with outsized student numbers.

Graduate council president Shuwen Yue, a graduate student in chemical and biological engineering, and undergraduate council president Meghan Slattery worked together with H. T. Adams Professor of Computer Science Margaret Martonosi, who directs the Keller Center for Innovation in Engineering Education, in developing this new, weighted system.

“It’s a really great process,” said Slattery, who underscored the delight she took in reading students’ comments. “I’ve gotten to see first-hand how many incredible instructors we have in the engineering school.”