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Sean Elliott Wins CAS Teaching Award

Prof. Sean Elliott’s classroom enthusiasm helped him win a teaching award.

Sean Elliott, an assistant professor of chemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences, received the college’s Gitner Award for Distinguished Teaching this spring. He has been at Boston University for six years. Elliott has received several research awards in the past, but the Gitner Award, presented annually to a CAS faculty member, is the first to recognize his teaching.

“It’s wonderful because it certainly speaks to the impact I hope I’ve had on students,” he says. “Part of the challenge is to bring them into your world,” he says of his introductory chemistry course. “I approach the educational experience as something intense, but fun.”

John Caradonna, a CAS associate professor of chemistry, nominated Elliott for the award; he says that Elliott reaches out to students and makes the mundane seem exciting by integrating basic biological concepts into the course. Elliott uses a “molecule of the week” to connect the week’s lectures with a more familiar type of science.

“I noticed early on that he has a style that’s more advanced than somebody starting out,” Caradonna says. “He maintains interest, keeps interest, and supplements the book.”

Elliott teaches a graduate seminar and an introductory chemistry course. 

Rebecca McNamara can be reached at ramc@bu.edu.