Teaching Excellence Awards

 Year Awarded: 2017

Faculty Award winner

Robert Borgon

 College of Medicine

 Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences

Teaching is a learning experience, and effectively engaging and inspiring students is a skill that must be continuously developed. An effective educator must be passionate about their field, as the energy brought into the classroom can engage, energize, and motivate students. Teachers must also be willing to learn from their experiences, self-reflection, colleagues, and most of all from the students to continuously adapt their teaching strategies to connect with each new generation. By truly listening to my students I continuously develop and improve as an effective teacher.

Engagement: My philosophy has its foundation in educators who inspired me through their passion, engagement, mentorship, and emphasis on critical thinking. Similarly, I aim to inspire my students to get excited about science and become great teachers themselves. I teach with passion, interest in the material, excitement, and humor to keep students interested and excited. I tie in real world experiences, outside concepts, applications, animations, and even science comics. I work hard to tear down the wall that can exist between faculty and students. I believe I am well-respected by the students because of my engagement, interest, humor, self-reflection, openness, fairness, and integrity.

Accessibility: One of the biggest impacts on student learning is my accessibility, availability, and willingness to listen, and I connect with many students through personal interactions. Students often wish to discuss concerns outside of school, and they know my door is always open and I am willing to provide mentorship and guidance. Academically, students can seek help from me or TAs nearly every minute of every day in Office Hours or Discussions. I also manage very active class message boards and respond to questions immediately when students need help, even at nights and on weekends.

Creative Content Delivery: I create engaging content for that encourages students to study early and often. Students are very willing to work hard and learn, and I create the best environment for them to master the material and improve critical thinking. I’ve written a course book that contains detailed figures throughout to explain advanced concepts, and practice questions and answers. I add relevant material beyond the course books, and I provide multiple homeworks to allow students to apply knowledge and develop critical thinking. I record lectures and post them online for students to re-listen to, or to reach students unable to attend class. I use class message boards to stimulate discussion. I create online practice exams to give students instant feedback about their performance and understanding of the content. My goal is to help students master the material in a manner that best suits their learning style.

Overall, I work hard to adapt, evolve, and learn to become a more effective and engaging teacher by listening to my students, being very accessible, and providing many avenues to success. I aim to inspire all of my students to excel and to become great scientists, doctors, and teachers, as many great teachers inspired me.