Chemistry professor at UGA named winner of teaching award from Regents

Chemistry professor at UGA named winner of teaching award from Regents

Athens, Ga. – Charles H. Atwood, professor of chemistry in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Georgia, has been named one of five University System of Georgia faculty members to be named winners of the annual Board of Regents’ Teaching Excellence and Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Awards.

“Since his appointment as director of general chemistry more than a decade ago, Atwood has shown an uncommon devotion to instruction in freshman chemistry,” the award citation said. “He developed JExam, an online homework and exam system and has systematically researched its effectiveness as a teaching and learning tool. The results have been outstanding, demonstrating a significant effect on student learning and increasing student retention in the sciences.

“Atwood is a leader in working with other instructors to enhance the teaching of introductory chemistry at UGA, and the results have caught the attention of the national chemical education community.”

The Board of Regents’ awards program recognizes and rewards both individual faculty members and academic programs. Recipients are selected from nominations submitted annually by the presidents of the University System. The awards honor outstanding teaching that significantly improves student achievement and shows a commitment to student-focused research and effective teaching. Each of the award winners will receive $5,000 and a certificate of achievement.

“These awards allow us to recognize outstanding faculty in the University System of Georgia who are making a tremendous difference in the lives of our students,” said Susan Herbst, the University System’s executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer. “We are proud to spotlight these exceptional faculty and programs and their commitment to student learning and achievement.”

UGA associate professor of plant biology Marguerite “Peggy” Brickman won the award in 2007.

“I was fortunate to be hired at UGA at a time when my research interests, assessment and improvement of student learning, meshed with a resurgence of interest in student performance at the university,” said Atwood. “My selection for this award is due to the excellent support I have received from my department heads, Bob Scott and John Stickney, the chemistry department, Dell Dunn and Jere Morehead and the PRISM project.”

Atwood received his doctoral degree from Florida State University in 1979. He is the author of Survival Guide for General Chemistry with Math Review (Brooks/Cole, Thomson Learning, Inc., 2004) and co-author of Experiments for General Chemistry featuring MeasureNet, Brooks/Cole, Thomson Learning, Inc., 2006).

Atwood’s research is built around the introduction of new technologies for educational presentation, assessment, laboratory instruction and testing of chemical phenomena. This has encompassed the use of emerging computer technologies to enhance the teaching of freshman chemistry. He has built and designed a computerized testing and homework system that allows examination of students.