Susan Bagley, a professor emerita of biological sciences, has received the Waksman Outstanding Teaching Award.
Presented by the Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology, the award recognizes teaching excellence that incorporates an active, productive research component and is named for Nobel laureate Selman Waksman. Recipients must have been an active, fulltime professor for at least 10 years or have attained emeritus status. Funding for the award is provided by the Waksman Foundation.
David Hand, chair of civil and environmental engineering, has first-hand knowledge of Bagley’s teaching abilities. “I was in the first microbiology class Sue ever taught at Michigan Tech, and she’s never changed,” he said. “Sue doesn’t just teach microbiology, she gets students excited about the subject, and they become eager to learn. That’s her successful strategy for teaching, and we faculty members can all learn from her example.”
Emily Geiger, a PhD student in biochemistry and molecular biology, has nothing but praise for her mentor and former teacher.
“My passion for microbiology, my work ethic and my responsible conduct can be attributed to Dr. Susan T. Bagley,” Geiger said. “She was the first to introduce the topic of microbiology to me, and her teaching and ability to communicate difficult subjects went beyond that of other professors.”
“Dr. Bagley sees the potential in each of her students and pushes us to be the best we can be. She has the ability to make her students believe that they can achieve anything, regardless of the field,” Geiger said. “Dr. Bagley will be a lifelong mentor of mine and an individual I respect and admire for the contribution of her time and knowledge to educate and inspire thousands.”
Chandrashekhar Joshi, chair of the Department of Biological Sciences, calls Bagley “one of the most dedicated teachers on the Michigan Tech campus.”
“She truly cares about giving her students the best learning experience. Receiving the Waksman Teaching award is the most appropriate recognition of Sue’s illustrious career, which spans over 30 years,” Joshi said. “She influenced the lives of thousands of Michigan Tech students through her teaching, advising students in their research and serving on graduate committees. Even though Professor Bagley retired recently, we are fortunate that she will continue her educational mission in the capacity of emerita professor.”
For Bagley, the honor was unexpected. “I was completely surprised to learn that I had been selected to receive the Waksman Outstanding Teaching Award,” she said. “The past recipients’ list reads like a ‘Who’s Who’ in this field, and I am so honored to join this group. The Waksman Award really recognizes the importance of ensuring that our graduate–and undergraduate–students are prepared for careers, in this case in industrial microbiology and technology. Teaching takes place in all areas, including the formal classroom, the lab and at meetings. In a broad sense it is really about mentoring, making sure that the students have the knowledge, skills and experiences to allow them to succeed after graduation.”
The Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology is a nonprofit, international association dedicated to the advancement of microbiological sciences, especially as they apply to industrial products, biotechnology, materials, and processes.
Published in Tech Today