Two faculty in the College of Science are among 10 Texas A&M University faculty selected as 2021 recipients of the Provost Academic Professional Track (APT) Faculty Teaching Excellence Award, announced Thursday (Mar. 25) by Interim Executive Vice President and Provost Mark H. Weichold ’78.
Physicist Tatiana Erukhimova and chemist Soon Mi Lim each received the coveted honor, created in 2019 by the Texas A&M Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) to encourage, recognize and reward faculty recipients for exceptional teaching practices that create meaningful learning experiences for students. The award is intended to illustrate both the impact of an effective teaching approach and the value of student-centered learning.
In addition to retaining the perpetual award title for life, Erukhimova and Lim each will receive a $5,000 cash stipend generously gifted by the Marie M. and James H. Galloway Foundation.
“The College of Science has almost 350 faculty members who excel daily in educating our majors and many other Texas A&M students in the sciences,” said Dr. Mark J. Zoran, Texas A&M biologist and executive associate dean in the College of Science. “Drs. Erukhimova and Lim are two outstanding instructional track professors who both are recognized by their colleagues and students for the excellence of their teaching, but also contribute far beyond their classrooms. We could not be more appreciative of their meritorious efforts or proud of their continuing accomplishments.”
Erukhimova is an instructional professor in the Texas A&M Department of Physics and Astronomy, where she also serves as outreach coordinator. In addition to excelling in teaching large introductory physics classes, her passion for inspiring learning through science has motivated the creation of several innovative programs at Texas A&M that integrate education with science outreach and community service, including the annual Texas A&M Physics and Engineering Festival and Mitchell Institute Physics Enhancement Program (MIPEP), DEEP (Discover, Explore and Enjoy Physics and Engineering), the Texas A&M Physics Show, Just Add Science and Real Physics Live. She is equally renowned for involving undergraduate and graduate students in physics education research. Erukhimova earned her Ph.D. in physics from the Russian Academy of Sciences in 1999 and joined the Texas A&M Physics and Astronomy faculty in 2006 as a lecturer after completing postdoctoral studies and serving four years as an assistant research scientist in the Texas A&M Department of Atmospheric Sciences. A four-time Texas A&M Association of Former Students Distinguished Achievement Award recipient — three for teaching and one for extension and outreach — Erukhimova was recognized in 2017 with the Presidential Professor for Teaching Excellence Award and in 2019 as a Fellow of the American Physical Society. She has received the John E. Trott Jr. Award in Student Recruiting and the Sigma Xi Outstanding Science Communicator Award and also served as chair of the American Association of Physics Teachers Committee on Science Education for the Public in 2020.
Lim is an instructional assistant professor in the Texas A&M Department of Chemistry, where she also serves as Associate Graduate Advisor, an assignment tailor-made for her as a 2006 chemistry Ph.D. graduate of Texas A&M. She teaches a broad range of classes, from First Year Program and Hullabaloo U first year experience courses to upper division majors options and graduate ethics, while also coordinating upper level, physical chemistry and quantitative analysis laboratory courses. Prior to joining the Texas A&M Chemistry faculty as a lecturer in August 2013, Lim served as a postdoctoral research associate in the Texas A&M Health Science Center (2006-2012) and taught general chemistry as both an adjunct lecturer at Texas A&M (spring 2012) and a part-time instructor at Blinn College (2013). She was recognized with a 2017 Texas A&M Association of Former Students College-Level Distinguished Achievement Award in Teaching. As a graduate advisor, Lim has broadened student perspectives by collaborating with the CTE to create a Chemistry Individual Development Plan survey and introducing a variety of initiatives, including a STEM Teaching Professional Development course, an Academy for Future Faculty certificate program and online career panel sessions. She also has contributed positively to the campus climate as founder of the Texas A&M chapter of Korean Women in Science and Engineering (KWiSE) and a career mentor for the Korea Center for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology. In addition to her teaching and graduate advising commitments, Lim has continued research contribution and regularly implements her discoveries and related innovations in her classroom and laboratory instruction.
Erukhimova and Lim are among four current Texas A&M Science faculty honored thus far as APT Faculty Teaching Excellence Award recipients, joining Instructional Professor of Chemistry Holly Gaede and Instructional Assistant Professor of Biology Andrew Tag, who were selected as members of the inaugural cohort in 2020.
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