Two outstanding Polytechnic professors were honored by the University for their dedication and educational innovation. The Distinguished Teacher Award and Jacobs Excellence in Education Award are given each year to faculty members who have demonstrated a genuine commitment to students and superb teaching skills. Each honoree receives a $10,000 grant.
The Distinguished Teacher Award is granted to a professor who demonstrates commitment to student learning, accessibility to students both in and out of class, and develops new curricula, lab experiments or other media for learning.
The Jacobs Excellence in Education Award is supported by a gift made by Dr. Joseph J. Jacobs '37 '39 '42 H'86, the founder and chairman of Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. – one of the world's largest engineering and construction firms. The award is presented to a professor who has received special educational recognition at the national level, demonstrates commitment to students and active learning, and develops innovative courses or laboratory experiments.
2007 Award Recipients
Distinguished Teacher Award:
For the past 20 years, Professor Walter Zurawsky has been teaching and advising students at Poly with enthusiasm, humor, and patience. Having taught just about every undergraduate and graduate course in Chemical Engineering, Zurawsky has touched the lives of approximately 2,000 Poly students.
Zurawsky has gained popularity among students over the years with his effective communication skills and dedication to quality teaching. Never reluctant to impart his knowledge, he often helps students with coursework for classes he doesn’t even teach. His eagerness to help students extends beyond the classroom, as many students turn to Zurawsky for academic and career advice. Zurawsky also plays an important role in maintaining and developing the laboratory in the Chemical and Biological Engineering Department. Zurawsky continually modifies equipment in the CBE laboratory to enhance students’ learning experience.
Jacobs Excellence in Education Award:
Professor Edward Wolf’s deep understanding of nanotechnology has opened the eyes of many Poly students to the revolutionary potential of this innovative field of science. By using up-to-date lecture and course materials, Wolf makes sure his students are learning about the latest cutting edge research. Although his class discussions often extend beyond the scheduled two hours, students rarely notice as they are so captivated by Wolf’s enthusiasm and knowledge of the material.
With Wolf’s encouragement, some of his students build upon what they learn in class and develop independent research projects addressing real life challenges. Wolf has also shared his knowledge of nano science with the world beyond Poly with the second edition of his well-received text book published last year, Nanophysics and Nanotechnology.