This year’s RateMyProfessors.com list of top university professors in the country includes Laura Pence, professor of chemistry in the University of Hartford’s College of Arts and Sciences, The 2014 list that ranks the nation’s top professors and universities lists Pence at number 20. The annual ranking list is based entirely on students’ input.
Pence, who won the University’s Roy E. Larsen Award for Outstanding Teaching in 2006, teaches courses ranging from introductory chemistry for science and non-science majors to advanced environmental chemistry and chemical synthesis. Her research publications have featured traditional laboratory research as well as projects incorporating technology such as wikis, RSS, and a Google Jockey.
Among the comments from students were:
Pence says that, “The reason I love teaching is the bond that forms with my students when my excitement about their learning and about chemistry is transferred to them. It’s a thrill to read the students’ comments because I can see how they value that bond and that energy as well.
“I’m really just one of many dedicated faculty members at the University, but being singled out by my students on Rate My Professor is quite an honor,” she said.
Pence spent the 2012-13 academic year on Capitol Hill as a Congressional Science Policy Fellow in the office of U.S. Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado. Her portfolio included energy, environment, natural resources, and cybersecurity. This Congressional Fellowship was sponsored by the American Chemical Society (ACS) and administered by the American Association for the Advancement of Science to provide policy-makers with high quality information on science-related issues and to educate scientists on how government works and how science policy is made.
Now back on campus, Pence continues to be active on behalf of the American Chemical Society. She moderated a Congressional Briefing Panel on "Water-Based Hazards: Risk Mitigation" where panelists discussed the challenges following landslides, hurricanes, and flooding and the need for resilient communities. (Watch the panel discussion: http://vimeo.com/album/3043506)
She also chairs the ACS National Committee on Environmental Improvement, which writes the organization’s policy statements on a wide range of issues, from fracking to sustainability.
This fall, she is teaching a course in the University’s Presidents’ College on natural resources and public policy titled “Speaking Truth to Power: When Science and Policy Meet.”
The full list, and additional lists for all categories ranked by RateMyProfessors.com, can be viewed at Toplists.ratemyprofessors.com. RateMyProfessors.com is built for college students, by college students and it is the highest-trafficked U.S. college professor rating site. Owned and operated by MTV’s college network, mtvU, the site consists entirely of student-generated ratings of current or former professors, featuring more than 7,000 schools, 1.4 million professors and 15 million ratings. RateMyProfessors.com reaches 6 million college students on average each month.