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Furman Professor Wins Teaching Award

Apr 17, 2018 03:51PM ● Published by Kathleen Maris

Furman Associate Professor of Chemistry Greg Springsteen has been awarded a 2018 Excellence in Teaching Award from the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, Inc. (SCICU).

A faculty member from each of SCICU’s 20-member institutions is nominated for the award. Recipients were honored at a special dinner held at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center on April 12. Each recipient was awarded a $3,000 professional development grant.

A Furman faculty member since 2006, Springsteen earned a bachelor’s in biology from the University of Virginia, followed by a Ph.D. in synthetic organic chemistry from North Carolina State University. He finished his training at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) studying molecular evolution.

Springsteen’s scholarship has focused on applying the principles of mechanistic organic chemistry toward understanding and teaching about life and its origins. In the classroom, Springsteen teaches at the interface of chemistry and biology in classes spanning general chemistry to advanced biochemistry. He also teaches a first-year seminar in molecular gastronomy.

Working with four to six undergraduate researchers each year, Springsteen’s lab collaborates with an NSF/NASA research consortium called the Center for Chemical Evolution, which is comprised of about 15 research labs from across the country with diverse abilities to jointly tackle questions related to the chemical origins of life. In the last five years, undergraduate students in Springsteen’s lab have published seven research articles, with some included in Nature Communications and Angewandte Chemie.

Springsteen says his guiding principle in the classroom is “to take full advantage of the fact that the joy of learning is irresistibly infectious. When treated with respect, Furman students will respond with full faith and effort.”

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