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Three faculty honored with 2023 C.I. Noll Award

29 January 2024

Penn State faculty Gregory Broussard, Linlin Jensen, and Timothy Miyashiro have been honored with the 2023 C.I Noll Award for Excellence in Teaching by the Eberly College of Science.

Instituted in 1972 and named in honor of Clarence I. Noll, dean of the college from 1965 to 1971, the award is the highest honor for undergraduate teaching in the college. Students, faculty members, and alumni nominate outstanding faculty members who best exemplify the key characteristics of a Penn State educator, and a committee selects the award winners from the group of nominees.

Gregory Broussard

Gregory Broussard, associate teaching professor of biochemistry and molecular biology

Broussard, an associate teaching professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, designed and implemented a course-based undergraduate research experience consisting of three courses for first-year students. The experience allows students to feel personally connected with the project they work on, which ne noted is key to the impact it has on students.

Past students wrote that they looked back fondly on their time with Broussard, and that it was clear to them that Broussard cares for his students deeply and on a personal level, including by ensuring continuous support even after graduation.

"On top of the way Dr. Broussard teaches his class,” wrote one student nominator, “he is also a huge mentor when looking at possible career options post-grad. Whether that is research-based/in academia or working in industry, Dr. Broussard offers a wealth of knowledge and advice.”

Another nominator wrote, “His commitment to elevating student learning experiences and fostering promising careers is truly exceptional.”

Broussard joined Penn State as an assistant teaching professor in 2014 and was promoted to associate teaching professor in 2020. From 2011-2014, before coming to Penn State, he was a research associate in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh. Broussard received a doctoral and bachelor’s degree from the University of Louisiana.

Linlin Jensen

Linlin Jensen, associate teaching professor of chemistry

Jensen, an associate teaching professor of chemistry, served as the main developer of the course CHEM 130: Introduction to General, Organic, and Biochemistry, and as the sole developer of the course CHEM 005: Kitchen Chemistry, both of which were designed to reach students of various majors. Focused on student-centered teaching methods, she also pioneered the use of handheld clickers for student participation during lectures, as well as a method of replacing one exam with another to motivate students to improve their scored throughout the semester.

“She is constantly thinking about ways to improve the students’ learning and how to best help them,” one student nominator wrote. “Dr. Jensen truly cares about her students’ learning and their wellbeing.”

Another nominator wrote, “It is important to notice that these pedagogical methods were developed solely for the purpose of staying student centered.”

Jensen came to Penn State as a postdoctoral scholar and adjunct lecturer in 2007. In 2013, she became an assistant teaching professor, promoted to associate teaching professor in 2019. Prior to joining Penn State, Jensen earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Sichuan University in Chengdu, Sichuan, China. In 2006, she earned her doctoral degree from Northwestern University.

Timothy Miyashiro

Timothy Miyashiro, associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology

Miyashiro, an associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, made a notable impact through his teaching of the course MICRB 203: Introductory Microbiology Lab.

Miyashiro took on a teaching style which has proved very successful and well-liked by his students. “Dr. Miyashiro utilized several techniques that 1) promoted active learning and retention of the matter and 2) evaluated students’ ability to apply course concepts,” a student nominator wrote.

Another nominator wrote, “His dedication to inquiry-based teaching, his adaptability during challenging times, and his commitment to fostering research engagement and inclusive learning environments making him an exemplary candidate for recognition.”

Miyashiro began his career at Penn State in 2013 as an assistant professor, being promoted to associate professor seven years later in 2020. Before this time, Miyashiro went to the University of Delaware, earning his Bachelor of Science. He then attended the University of Pennsylvania or his doctoral degree.