The professorships are named after alumnus Arthur F. Thurnau and supported by the Thurnau Charitable Trust. Recipients receive $20,000 to support teaching activities, including travel, books, equipment and graduate student support.
Descriptions of Professor Elvang's work are taken from recommendations provided to the regents by Provost Martin Philbert:
- Elvang, professor of physics, LSA, “combines particularly eloquent presentations with a relaxed, completely approachable personal style that draws students in and elicits open interaction,” according to faculty colleagues.
- By using oral exams and written assignments, along with equations and problem sets in her classes, Elvang challenges students to explain what they are learning and helps them develop communication skills.
- Elvang created an honors version of Physics 360, a course that reaches sophomores and has inspired more students to pursue a major in physics. The course has contributed to a doubling in the number of majors in the past seven years.
- Elvang’s mentoring program also has prepared graduate student instructors to apply teaching strategies backed by physics and general education research, creating better learning environments in upper-level courses.
To read more about the Arthur F. Thurnau award and other awardees, see the recent article in The University Record.