Jorge Torres and Jennifer Casey have been named the recipients of the 2020 Hanson-Dow Award for outstanding teaching in the chemistry department. They were each recognized for their exceptional efforts in classrooms and laboratories, in overseeing undergraduate student research, and preparing excellent teaching materials.
Torres, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry, has contributed to the increased participation and effective mentorship of under-represented minorities in the sciences through his teaching, outreach and mentoring. He has served as a mentor for several UCLA diversity outreach programs including the Amgen Scholars Program, the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Initiative, and the Minority Access to Research Careers program. In 2019, Torres received the UCLA Academic Senate’s Student Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award and the American Society for Cell Biology Prize for Excellence in Inclusivity. He was recently honored by the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science in recognition of his lifelong commitment to mentoring students.
Casey, an assistant adjunct professor of biology and chemistry, created and taught an enhanced general chemistry pilot course this spring quarter for life science majors, an endeavor supported by a UC Provost Grant. The purpose of this course is to help under-prepared students succeed in their general chemistry classes without increasing their time to degree. Despite the course being taught remotely, Casey was uniformly praised by students in the class for her dedication, organization, support for students, passion, and enthusiasm. In 2019, Casey was awarded the UCLA Academic Senate’s Distinguished Teaching Award for Non-Senate Faculty.
The Hanson-Dow Award was established in 1984, funded by a donation from alumnus William Hanson and a matching donation from the Dow Chemical Company. Hanson worked for Dow Chemical for many years and was responsible for establishing this award, which recognizes the impact our faculty have on UCLA chemistry and biochemistry students.
Torres and Casey will be recognized with the award during the 2020 departmental awards ceremony at a date to be announced in the future.