Named "favourite instructor" despite hard course – University of Copenhagen

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26 June 2014

Named "favourite instructor" despite hard course

Award ceremony

Chemistry students tend to be bright bulbs. None the less even they blanch at the mention of courses with names such as "Quantum chemistry and theoretical spectroscopy". In spite of being in charge of this tough course, student representatives from all SCIENCE Bachelor and Masters programmes at University of Copenhagen have chosen to give the "2014 Teacher of the Year at SCIENCE Award" to Associate Professor Stephan Sauer.

The faculty of SCIENCE at the University of Copenhagen are behind the award which was handed to Sauer by Albert Schulz on behalf of the Science Students Association ( Sciencerådet).

Awardee imparts chemical life competencies

The prize of 75.000 DKK is to be shared between Sauer and his tutoring team. In his speach to the award winner the vice dean for instruction, Henrik Busch, stated that what an educator like Sauer gives to his students is "chemical life competencies".

It is the first time, that the SCIENCE faculty bestow the "2014 Teacher of the Year at SCIENCE Award". Henrik Busch told the many guests at the reception that the purpose of the prize is to add visibility to the importance of not just good instruction but also good tutoring teams and good educators. 

"Education and tutoring are core competencies at SCIENCE. That's why it is so important to value and celebrate the many educators who can and do give so freely of themselves to the task at hand", said the Vice Dean.

New media in education thrills students

Stephan Sauers chosen field is computational chemistry and even he acknowledges that it’s not the easiest to disseminate. In their argument for choosing Sauer the students stress his cheerful mood and his commitment which has transformed what would be a difficult course into something quite approachable, crucially without relaxing academic ambition. Above all, the students are pleased with his experiments in new media for use in the course.

Hope that other instructios will start using video

Sauer has released a number of video-lectures to the students and these are very popular. Students call the videos an “innovative supplement when studying for exams”. They hope that Sauers videos will inspire all other tutors at SCIENCE UCPH.

See all of Sauers video-lectures here: 

Sauer is German by birth, educated in Germany and Odense, Denmark. Since 1997 he has had tenure at the University of Copenhagen. He is married with three children.