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Donna Gabai honored at SEAS Excellence in Teaching Awards

Excerpt by Molly Sharlach, Office of Engineering Communications

Engineering student organizations celebrated the passion and dedication of faculty members and graduate student teaching assistants at the annual School of Engineering and Applied Science Excellence in Teaching Awards.

“We hope to recognize the professors and teaching assistants that performed much more than what was expected of them,” said Stanley Cho, a junior in chemical and biological engineering and president of the undergraduate engineering council, in opening remarks at the March 16 ceremony. “We can’t emphasize enough how much we enjoyed reading [students’] heartfelt comments during the nomination process.”

The teaching awards, overseen by the graduate and undergraduate engineering councils, recognize outstanding instructors in courses held during the spring semester 2020-21 and the fall semester 2021-22.

“There’s nothing that can give me more pleasure than honoring excellence in teaching,” Princeton Engineering Dean Andrea Goldsmith told student nominators, awardees and guests gathered at the Friend Center. “The importance of teaching at Princeton is profound,” she said.

Student presenters expressed gratitude for their instructors’ commitment to keeping course material fresh and engaging, and to building students’ confidence. Many students noted that professors, lecturers and teaching assistants went to extraordinary lengths to help students learn and adjust during the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dwaipayan Saha presenting a lifetime achievement teaching award to Donna Gabai.
Dwaipayan Saha ’24 presented a lifetime achievement teaching award to Donna Gabai, lecturer in computer science. Photo by Frank Wojciechowski

Lifetime Achievement Awards, given to faculty members for receiving five or more Excellence in Teaching Awards, were presented to Donna Gabai, a lecturer in computer science. Also awarded was Claire Gmachl, the Eugene Higgins Professor of Electrical Engineering.

Gabai “took the time outside of class to ensure I had all the tools I needed in order to succeed in class,” said sophomore Dwaipayan Saha, who added that Gabai enlivened the course material by presenting interesting extensions and applications. “I hope you can continue to inspire many more generations of COS concentrators as you have [inspired] me. It was an absolute delight to learn from you,” he said.

Cole Hullfish, Daniel Marlow, Teresa Lee, Donna Gabai, Penelope Georges, Charlotte Cathcart, Claire Gmachl and Craig Arnold holding their award plaques.
Winners of the Engineering Council’s annual Excellence in Teaching Awards for the fall 2021-22 semester: Cole Hullfish, Daniel Marlow, Teresa Lee, Donna Gabai, Penelope Georges, Charlotte Cathcart, Claire Gmachl and Craig Arnold.  Photo by Frank Wojciechowski

To see the full list of award recipients, click here.


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