Del Mar residents honored for excellence by UC San Diego

Two Del Mar residents — Lin Chao and Susan Taylor — were recognized as stellar faculty members by UC San Diego as part of the 40th Annual Chancellor’s Associates Faculty Excellence Awards, held March 20 at the J.R. Beyster Auditorium at the Rady School of Management.

Six outstanding faculty members were honored for excellence in teaching, research, community service and the performing and visual arts.

The recipients of the 2014 Chancellor’s Associates Faculty Excellence Awards include:

Lin Chao, professor of biological sciences, for excellence in undergraduate teaching;

Leslie J. Carver, associate professor of psychology, for excellence in graduate teaching; Stephan M. Haggard, professor of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IR/PS), for excellence in research in humanities and social sciences;

Susan S. Taylor, professor of pharmacology and professor of chemistry and biochemistry, for excellence in research in science and engineering;

Ramamohan Paturi, professor of computer science and engineering, for excellence in community service; and Susan Narucki, professor of music, for excellence in performing and visual arts.

Award candidates are nominated by their academic peers, with final selection by a committee comprising Chancellor’s Associates donors. Criteria for selection are based on faculty member achievements, reputation and impact on students and the academic community. About the Del Mar honorees:

Lin Chao:

Chao’s commitment to student learning is reflected in the comments made by his undergraduates, who give his approach an outstanding 98 percent approval rating, including many kudos for using a chalkboard instead of PowerPoint. Chao has a reputation for clear, interesting lectures that enable students to absorb tremendous amounts of material, informed by his long research career in experimental evolution. The trajectory of former students, many of whom go on to prestigious research and faculty positions, speaks to his influence as teacher and role model.

“Lin Chao is an outstanding researcher and educator with the rare ability to convey even the most difficult of ideas in a clear, understandable and inspirational manner,” said Joshua Kohn, professor and chair of the section of ecology, behavior and evolution in the Division of Biological Sciences. “He provides the students with the concepts that lead them to be able to reach the proper conclusions by their own reasoning. This is a deep goal of instruction, one that is not easily reached.”

Susan Taylor:

Considered one of the world’s preeminent scientists, Taylor has made major contributions to modern biology and chemistry. Her seminal work on protein kinase A has defined the structure, function, dynamics and evolution of the protein kinase super-family—crucial for cellular processes such as growth and metabolism. Taylor is considered the antithesis of an ivory-tower scholar and recognized as a collaborative force locally and across the larger scientific community. She is a passionate champion for research nationally and internationally, and has devoted more than 40 years of scholarship to UC San Diego.

“Susan Taylor works diligently to foster partnerships between UC San Diego faculty and community researchers to advance solutions that extend from chemistry to biomedical science,” said David Brenner, M.D., vice chancellor of Health Sciences and dean of the School of Medicine. “She is both a model scientist and a tireless advocate of multi-disciplinary research collaboration at UC San Diego and beyond.”

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