The award honors up to six assistant professors each year who have demonstrated excellence and innovation in the classroom and a passion for teaching. They also have made a difference in their students’ lives or made connections between research and teaching.
“I love seeing students rise to the challenge of creative problem solving,” said Singer, McCamish Foundation Early Career Assistant Professor in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering. “I push students to think outside the box, and I get a lot of satisfaction out of seeing them realize that with hard work and brainstorming, they can generate new ways to solve important problems.”
In nomination materials, students praised Singer for her dedication to creating courses that inspired them to give their best, even when they didn’t know all the answers. Several credited her courses with helping them discover a passion for neuroscience or a desire to pursue graduate school.
“[The] assignments brought out the best in everyone the way few group projects do: my classmates and I found ourselves capitalizing on each other’s diverse skill sets to create concepts that pushed barriers. It was the thrill of experiencing what scientific innovation felt like for the first time that was perhaps the biggest takeaway from her course,” one student wrote. “The excitement I felt thinking of ideas for her course was a substantial inspiration for me to pursue graduate school. The work I am proudest of from my entire undergraduate career was done in her course, and I have referred back to it many times.”
One student wrote that Singer’s classrooms are exciting places, where intellectual curiosity is high and all of the students strive to give their best. Others praised Singer for seamlessly transitioning her courses to virtual or hybrid options during the pandemic — and for keeping a close eye on her students’ well-being.
“The flexibility and empathy Dr. Singer conveyed to all of us alleviated our stress for outside factors during a complex time in our college careers,” the student wrote.
Singer teaches courses like BMED 4853, Systems Physiology, and BMED 4803/NEUR 4803, Introduction to Neuroengineering, a course she developed to fill a gap in the Department’s curriculum for students.
“It's very nice to be recognized because I try to implement the kind of classes I would want to take as a student,” Singer said.