UC Riverside Academic Senate

Distinguished Teaching Award

2011–12 Distinguished Teaching Award Recipients

Leonard Mueller

Professor Leonard Mueller jointed the Chemistry Department in 1998 and has been instrumental in changing the way introductory chemistry is taught at UCR using peer-led problem solving sessions and active learning in the classroom and laboratories. All Introductory Chemistry and Organic Chemistry classes at UCR now use these methods.

In addition to teaching freshmen science majors, Dr. Mueller teaches a class for non-science students, often called “chemistry for poets” (CHEM 3) and receives scores of 4.9/5.0 for his overall effectiveness, enthusiasm, and respect for the students. His graduate class in quantum mechanics is challenging yet enthusiastically received.

It is clear from all of the students’ comments that Dr. Mueller is a talented hands-on teacher who has both the desire and talent to make meaningful connections with his students. Outside of the classroom, Dr. Mueller has taken a lead role in the Copernicus Project to improve secondary school science teacher training. He has organized and teaches a two-week Summer Science Institute on Chemistry involving 40 high school teachers and 20 of their students.

For the last five years he has participated in Summer Laboratory Experiences and STEM Institutes in which Community College students intern at UCR. The Distinguished Teaching Award committee believes that Dr. Leonard Mueller is extremely well deserving of this award.

Morris Maduro

Morris Maduro

Morris Maduro
Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology

Professor Morris Maduro joined the Biology Department in 2003 and has taught the daunting introductory biology class, BIOL 5A. He also teaches Developmental Biology both at the upper-divison and graduate levels. Dr. Maduro was one of the first instructors to adopt new pedagogical methods to life science classes in large classrooms using active learning strategies and summative assessments.

One of Dr. Maduro’s faculty peers considers him a “top-notch educator that causes students to reach for, and go beyond, their potential.” Another says, “Morris has an incredibly deep well of enthusiasm, energy, good humor, and love of science that, together with his sharpest of minds, bubbles forth to enlighten all in his path.” Both undergraduate and graduate students attest to his clarity, enthusiasm, approachability, humor, and rigor in the classroom.

Each lecture he gives is accompanied by a four-page resource list, not lecture notes, that provide students with pathways to learning goals, objectives, and outcomes, along with problems, exercises, and a summary of the lecture. His overall scores from undergraduate students to the statement “Instructor was effective as a teacher overall” were some of the highest seen by the Awards Committee. Dr. Morris Maduro is richly deserving of this year’s Distinguished Teaching Award.

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