Borhan named recipient of Graduate Faculty Teaching Award

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Ali Borhan, professor of chemical engineering in the College of Engineering, has received the 2012 Graduate Faculty Teaching Award.

The award, established in 1992 by The Graduate School, is presented to faculty members in recognition of outstanding teaching performance and advising of graduate students.

Borhan, a member of the Department of Chemical Engineering faculty for 23 years, is honored for his teaching of graduate level courses, including Transport Phenomena, a required core course in chemical engineering. He is well-known among students for teaching these classes without using notes. “I try to put myself in the same situation as the students by walking into the classroom without any notes so that I have to go through the discovery process with the students, starting from the very basics,” he said.

As graduate program coordinator in chemical engineering, Borhan provides advice and guidance to all graduate students in the department. One nominator called him an “extraordinary mentor,” explaining that “it’s not unusual to see a long line of graduate students outside of Dr. Borhan’s door -- the students truly value his input and perspective, and they trust his judgment and advice.”

A student noted the professor’s tendency to answer a question with a question: “When I would ask him about problems, he would generally reply with a question to probe my knowledge on the subject. Most of the time, I would determine the answer to my own question.”

Borhan received the Outstanding Teaching Award from the Penn State Engineering Society in 1995 while he was still an assistant professor. In 2008 he received the Penn State Engineering Society Premier Teaching Award -- the highest teaching award given by the College of Engineering.

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Last Updated January 09, 2015