Lin Chao Honored for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching

March 21, 2014

By Kim McDonald

Lin Chao

Biology professor Lin Chao was one of six UC San Diego faculty members honored at the 40th annual Chancellor’s Associates Faculty Excellence Awards for going above and beyond to make a positive impact in their teaching, research and service. The former chair of the Section of Ecology, Behavior and Evolution was given the award for excellence in undergraduate teaching.

“Lin Chao’s commitment to student learning is reflected in the comments made by his undergraduates, who give his approach an outstanding 98 percent approval rating, including many kudos for using a chalkboard instead of PowerPoint,” the committee that selected him for the award said in his citation. “Chao has a reputation for clear, interesting lectures that enable students to absorb tremendous amounts of material, informed by his long research career in experimental evolution. The trajectory of former students, many of whom go on to prestigious research and faculty positions, speaks to his influence as teacher and role model.”

The awardees were nominated by their academic peers, with final selection by a committee comprising Chancellor’s Associates donors. Criteria for selection are based on faculty member achievements, reputation and impact on students and the academic community.

“Lin Chao is an outstanding researcher and educator with the rare ability to convey even the most difficult of ideas in a clear, understandable and inspirational manner,” said Joshua Kohn, professor of biology and the current chair of the Section of Ecology, Behavior and Evolution. “He provides the students with the concepts that lead them to be able to reach the proper conclusions by their own reasoning. This is a deep goal of instruction, one that is not easily reached.”

More on the 2014 Chancellor’s Associates Faculty Excellence Awards recipients


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