The Tulane University community will gather for Commencement on Saturday morning (May 16) at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome to recognize the achievements of the class of 2015 and to honor two faculty members for their outstanding work in teaching undergraduates. W T. Godbey, associate professor, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, and Rebecca Mark, professor, Department of English, will receive the Suzanne and Stephen Weiss Presidential Fellowships.
Each fellowship honors a faculty member who has a sustained record of effective, inspiring and distinguished teaching. Recipients receive a special medal, $5,000 a year for four years and permanent designation as a Weiss Fellow.
W T. Godbey is fully invested in providing the best undergraduate experience for students. He has served as a professor-in-residence at Wall Residential College. To see so many students (especially the ones who start off struggling) wax poetic about not only his passion, but the passion that he instills in his students, is impressive, as he teaches engineering students about biochemistry. Many students rated this as their toughest, yet favorite course. He has clearly taught his students many fundamental things about the scientific method, and many say he inspired them to be better than they thought they could be.
Rebecca Mark’s commitment to students is beyond question. Currently co-chair of the Task Force on the Undergraduate Experience, she also has served as a Posse Foundation Mentor, led the CELT-CE Teaching Fellows as the Distinguished Teaching Mentor and holds the Greenberg Family Professorship as a Cole Fellow in social entrepreneurship and innovation. In one nomination letter, a student remarks: “She made me recognize my potential and pushed me to create lofty goals that I would soon achieve.” Students and colleagues praise her as brilliant, kind and caring but also challenging — encouraging them to have discussions about race, gender, equality, mental health and myriad other topics. She was nominated last year for U.S. Professor of the Year.
The 2015 Tulane Commencement ceremony on Saturday (May 16) will be streamed live online. Follow us on social media at #tulane15.