Excellence in the Classroom and Beyond
Excellence in teaching comes in many different forms, a fact exemplified by the John C. Butler Excellence in Teaching Award.
This year’s recipients, Shuhab Khan, professor of geology, and Chad Wayne, instructional associate professor of biology and biochemistry, are both involved in a wide range of leadership roles that have left a lasting impact on their students’ education.
From their excellence in the classroom to their roles as mentors, advisors, and directors of student success initiatives, Khan and Wayne excel as educators in many different capacities.
Butler Teaching Award Recognizes Exceptional Faculty Members
The Butler Teaching Award, established in the memory of former College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Dean John Butler, recognizes faculty members who excel in teaching. Every year, this award is given to one instructional faculty member and one tenured/tenure-track faculty member, and is accompanied by a plaque and a $5,000 prize. Award recipients are also recognized at the NSM Convocation in May.
Nominations may be made by NSM departments, student organizations, faculty and students. Khan and Wayne received letters of nomination and support from faculty, current students and former students.
Chad Wayne – Biology and Biochemistry
Chad Wayne has a reputation for challenging his students, as well as himself. In 2013, Wayne was recognized with the University of Houston’s Teaching Excellence Award for Instructional and Clinical faculty.
“His class took me out of my comfort zone,” noted one recommender. “He is a one-of-a-kind professor with an outstanding passion for teaching,” noted another. “Because of Dr. Wayne, I have been able to continue in my pursuit of medical school,” wrote another.
Wayne, who teaches the courses Human Anatomy and Physiology, as well as Human Physiology, also serves on committees aimed at supporting students interested in careers in the health professions, such as the Honors Biomedical Sciences Program and the Health Professions Advisory Committee.
“Dr. Wayne is a professor who always gives his best,” noted a recommender.
Shuhab Khan – Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
Khan, who joined the faculty in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences in 2003, has graduated 19 M.S. students and 10 Ph.D. students. Countless more undergraduates have chosen to work in his group. In 2014, Khan was recognized with UH’s Teaching Excellence Award.
“As a supervisor, Dr. Khan is enthusiastic, outgoing and works closely with graduate and undergraduate research students,” wrote a recommender. “Dr. Khan is an outstanding teacher with an unwavering commitment to developing innovative, hands-on coursework,” wrote another. Khan shows “an ability to explain complex details in simple, everyday concepts,” noted another.
As a mentor, Khan has a reputation for recognizing and developing talent. “Dr. Khan recognized my potential early on and encouraged me to remain in geophysics,” wrote one recommender. “Working with him has had an unprecedented impact on my professional and academic life,” wrote another.
In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Khan has served as undergraduate advisor for the EAS department, during which he has led a major revision of the undergraduate curriculum. During the time he has been advisor, the department has seen a major increase in the number of undergraduates conducting research.
- Rachel Fairbank, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics