Gotwals wins UNC Teaching Excellence award

The seven recipients of this year’s NCSSM Teaching Awards are (l-r): Joe Lobuglio, Bob Gotwals, Katie Moulder, Jackie Bondell, Gina Burger, and Martha Regalis, with Chancellor Todd Roberts. Not pictured: Julie Graves.

A committee of his colleagues has selected Chemistry Instructor Bob Gotwals for the 2016-2017 Board of Governors Excellence in Teaching award. The annual award comes with a $12,500 prize. Chancellor Todd Roberts, in announcing the award, noted that Gotwals not only teaches more students and more classes than any other faculty member on campus, but is also extensively involved in outreach efforts, connecting with teachers and students across the state and beyond.

Gotwals, who has taught at NCSSM for 10 years, teaches both chemistry in the residential program as well as a series of computational science courses for NCSSM Online. As a result of his efforts over the past ten years, NCSSM is the only high school in the United States that offers a formal program in both computational quantum chemistry and computational medicinal chemistry.

Gotwals is also active in outreach on behalf of the school, regularly consulting with teachers who would like to introduce computational chemistry into their classrooms, and maintaining the North Carolina High School Computational Chemistry Server, a resource that provides students and teachers across the state with access to research-grade computing tools in chemistry, since 2006. As a result of his work, NCSSM was invited to be a member of the Molecular Education and Research Consortium in Undergraduate Computational Chemistry, a national group of undergraduate institutions engaged in teaching and research programs in computational chemistry.

One of his colleagues at NCSSM notes, “Mr. Gotwals has provided leadership in the area of pre-college computational chemistry education for almost 30 years, pushing the envelope of what most think is possible at the high school level.”

Gotwals has previously been the recipient of UNC BOG Teaching Awards, winning the award for Exceptional Contribution: Outreach in 2016, Outstanding Teacher Award in 2015, and the award for Exceptional Contribution: Scholarship in 2011.

Read more about Bob Gotwals

During an awards ceremony on February 9, 2017, Roberts also presented Physics Instructor Jackie Bondell and Math Instructor Julie Graves with the 2016-2017 NCSSM Outstanding Teacher awards, with a prize of $2,500 each.

Instructors winning the 2016-2017 awards for Exceptional Contributions are:

Each of the Exceptional Contribution awards include a $1,125 award.

“What a job this committee has,” Roberts noted, in having to choose from so many accomplished instructors to honor with the awards. “We have an amazing group of faculty.”

Previous Board of Governors Excellence in Teaching award winners:

2015-16: Philip Rash
2014-15:  Noreen Naiman
2013-14:  Jonathan Bennett
2012-13:  Maria Hernandez
2011-12:  Elizabeth Moose
2010-11:  John Kolena
2009-10:  Myra Halpin
2008-09:  Ginger Wilson
2007-08:  Dan Teague

Previous Outstanding Teacher award winners:

2015-16: Cheryl Gann, Meredith Murphy
2014-15:  Bob Gotwals, Scott Laird
2013-14:  Philip Rash, Amy Sheck
2012-13:  Jonathan Bennett, Martha Regalis
2011-12:  Christine Muth, Noreen Naiman
2010-11:  Maria Hernandez, John Woodmansee
2009-10:  John Kolena, Elizabeth Moose
2008-09:  Myra Halpin, Chuck Roser
2007-08:  Joe Liles, Ginger Wilson

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