Daubenmire recognized for teaching first-year students
Patrick Daubenmire is one of four professors who received Loyola’s Excellence in Teaching Freshmen Award. Here, he talks about his love of chemistry, his passion for good food, and how his Jesuit professors in college inspired him to become a teacher.
Patrick Daubenmire, PhD
Assistant professor and the undergraduate program director for the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
How did you feel about receiving the award?
It’s always nice to get an award, but I have to admit it took me by surprise. Part of that year of teaching for me was teaching Scientific Basis of Environmental Issues, a new Core course in the science foundations strand. Being part of that rollout was really exciting.
Are there any research projects that you’re working on right now?
I’m overseeing a couple of projects. I have a graduate student who’s looking at an inquiry-based approach to general chemistry lab for our majors and how their metacognitive strategies—basically, the ways in which they monitor what they know and do not know—might be developing. I also have some undergraduates looking at how general chemistry students solve problems and how that aligns with how their instructors teach them in class. And I’m also managing a project that is a volunteer program for high school students. It integrates formal and informal environments for learning about science, sustainability, and service to communities.
What made you want to become a chemistry professor?
I had a great high school chemistry teacher who got me interested both in teaching and the content of chemistry. Also my experience with many outstanding Jesuit teachers at Saint Louis University really pushed me and inspired me to become a teacher.
What are the specific classes you’ll be teaching next?
I’ll teach general chemistry in the spring for our declared chemistry majors, and that’s a pretty cool course because it’s both a lecture and a lab. In the summer I’ll teach another chemistry class, and that will be interesting because it will be online. I taught the 101 version online two summers ago, and we really think as a department there should be a 102, so I’ll be developing that version. Lastly, I will be returning to the Core science foundation’s course in the fall of 2014.
What is your favorite part about teaching?
I love watching other people discover new ideas. It just has a special energy to it.
What’s your biggest challenge?
I’d have to say discovering multiple ways to convey a concept and making that material accessible to a wide range of learners and learning styles. It’s certainly doable, but it comes with some obstacles.
Do you have any hobbies outside of the classroom?
My No. 1 hobby would definitely be cooking. I love to cook and feed people. Recently, I’ve also been trying to get myself to learn music.
About the professor
Hometown: Grew up in Lebanon, Ohio, and now lives in Bartlett, Illinois.
Professor at Loyola since: 2005
Courses taught: General Chemistry A & B (CHEM 101 & 102); Basic Inorganic Chemistry (CHEM 106); Scientific Basis of Environmental Issues (UCSF 137).