Two Department Faculty Receive Awards

Eight General Education Teaching Awards were presented during a holiday reception on December 6, 2000 at the Town and Gown on campus. Two were awarded to our department faculty, Dr. Gene Bickers, Associate Chair, and Dr. Werner Däppen. They received the awards for their contributions to the General Education Program during the 1999 - 2000 academic year. They were chosen on the basis of statistics and student comments on evaluation forms, course syllabi and evidence of rigorous grading. Past General Education Award recipients from Physics and Astronomy include Professors Ed Rhodes and Nick Warner.

Professor Bickers taught Physics 100, an introductory course designed specifically for non-science majors who have little background in the sciences and mathematics. One of the primary goals of the course is to introduce the students to the most important and useful concepts of physics. Another is to expose the class to new ways of thinking about those things that have aroused one's curiosity. Comments on student evaluation forms indicate the high regard the students have for Dr. Bickers; "Dr. Bickers was an amazing professor. He made physics class fun and entertaining while explaining complicated ideas." "The instructor is great. One of the best professors at USC." "Dr. Bickers genuinely cares about his students. Even though I hate the subject of physics, Dr. Bickers make it bearable. Excellent teacher." "There isn't a thing I would change about his course and the way he taught. He was an amazing teacher. He explained the hardest things in the easiest way." "I'm a journalism major and I loved coming to physics."

Professor Däppen was recognized for his work in Astronomy 100: The Universe! Since he was trained both as a physicist and astronomer, Dr. Däppen employs a combination of both to show how the quest for the nature of the universe has helped the development of physics while physics has delivered the very concepts that can make the seemingly unfathomable things in the universe comprehensible. Student comments include; "The professor's dynamism and expertise made each and every class valuable." "Awesome enthusiasm about subject matter! Däppen really loves what he does! Also able to distill complex problems/ideas to average students." "Professor Däppen's enthusiasm is unparalleled. I have never had such an energetic professor who really cares about his students and the class." "He was a joy to be taught from." "This is the most interesting and educational class I have taken at USC and I thoroughly enjoyed it- the Professor is what I think all Professors should be. Thanks!"

The Department of Physics and Astronomy is proud to have such superb professors on our faculty and join with the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences in congratulating Professors Bickers and Däppen for receiving the General Education Teaching Award. The outstanding instructional skills they exhibit, their enthusiasm and ability to generate true inquisitiveness among students, brings distinction to our university.

Gene_Werner Dr. Gene Bickers (left) and Dr. Werner Däppen receiving awards

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