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Chemistry Colloquium Series: Benny Chan (The College of New Jersey)
February 24 | 3:40 pm - 4:40 pm
About the Colloquium:
The changing demographics of the NJ student population towards more first generation and students of color was forecasted by decades of census data. Change is hard. Change is complex. Coupling the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen a seismic shift in student preparation that requires a paradigm shift in our teaching. Luckily, The College of New Jersey’s School of Science was already engaged in doing systemic changes to our curriculum to make the courses more inclusive and student centered. We have developed a theory of change, the experimentalist teacher, to help to manage the current conditions and to anticipate the future changes to our student population. We have three pillars to the theory of change, gaining empathy and understanding of our students, a changed toolkit of acceptable pedagogy, and developing a common language, values, and understanding of our responsibility. We have gathered a tremendous amount of data about our most vulnerable student populations to help us design and assess a model for teaching general chemistry. The data informed work has driven additional work into our Inorganic, Analytical, Organic and Physical chemistry curricula and even to study issues like the sense of belonging and respect in our classrooms. The Chemistry Department has developed our vision and mission to be as inclusive as possible so that we can increase the numbers of successful and thriving students in our majors and chemical professionals.
About the Speaker:
Dr.Benny Chan is a Professor and Chemistry Department Chair at The College of New Jersey. He earned his Ph.D. from Penn State University and continued his training as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Colorado State University and Los Alamos National Laboratory. He joined the faculty at TCNJ in 2006. He is an American Chemical Society Fellow and has been recognized by The National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals as Educator of the Year in 2019. Dr. Chan’s research interests include the synthesis and characterization of inorganic materials with potential applications in nanotechnology, thermoelectrics, batteries, and catalysis.
You can read more about Prof. Chan here.