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Teh-Hui Kao Honored with Teaching Award

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Teh-hui Kao, a professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, is the recipient of the 2008 Excellence in Honors Teaching Award given by the Schreyer Honors College. Students currently enrolled in the Schreyer Honors College nominate faculty for these awards. Kao has taught the honors general biochemistry course for more than 20 years and was recognized on 25 September 2008 by the Schreyer Honors College during its annual awards ceremony.

According to Christian M. M. Brady, dean of the Schreyer Honors College, Kao represents one of the very best of Penn State faculty because he shares with his students a passion for learning and excellence that inspires and transforms those who have the good fortune to sit in his classroom.

Lauren Aldinger, a student scholar in the Schreyer Honors College, nominated Kao for the award and called him a "once-in-a-lifetime instructor." "His level of knowledge of the material permits him to lecture continuously for over an hour on the complex metabolic pathways," Aldinger wrote in her nomination. "This high caliber of teaching, however, does not make Dr. Kao in and of himself a great teacher. It is this quality coupled with his profound interest in his students' success and lives that make this combination nearly impossible to beat."

Kao chairs the Intercollege Graduate Degree Program in Plant Physiology and is the co-director of the ecological and molecular pant physiology option in Penn State's Integrative Biosciences Graduate Degree Program. Kao earned his bachelor of science degree in chemistry at National Taiwan University and his doctoral degree in chemistry/physical biochemistry at Yale University. After receiving his doctorate, Kao conducted research at the Roche Institute for Molecular Biology and at Cornell University before coming to Penn State in 1986. His research involves the investigation of the molecular basis for cellular recognition and signal transduction during reproduction in flowering plants. In 1998, the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology honored Kao with the Paul M. Althouse Outstanding Teaching Award.

[ Chris Arbutina / Sara LaJeunesse ]

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