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Alumnus Andrew Aspaas receives Educator of the Year award

Alumnus Andrew Aspaas, who is a chemistry instructor at Anoka-Ramsey Community College, has received an Educator of the Year Award for Excellence in Teaching from the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU). Aspaas did his master's thesis work in Professor Thomas Hoye's group in 2005.

The MnSCU Board of Trustees bestows the award to acknowledge and reward exceptional professional accomplishment and to encourage ongoing excellence in teaching. The four winners of this year's were selected from 36 faculty members named Outstanding Educators by the presidents of their respective institutions based on nominations by students, faculty peers or staff. Evaluation criteria included: content expertise and professional growth; teaching strategies and materials; assessment of student learning and performance; and service to students, the profession, the institution, and the system. This is the seventh year of the awards.

The following was written about Andrew: "Andrew Aspass doesn’t enter his classrooms and lab intending merely to walk students through the concepts and principles of his subject. Instead, he brings to his work a sense of vision and responsibility, saying, “The job of teaching chemistry to the future nurses, scientists, doctors, and citizens in my community is not one I take lightly.” He not only brings a formidable knowledge of chemistry to his college but also a scholar’s understanding of student learning, and designs educational experiences for students that allow them to struggle with difficult ideas while they also enjoy the fun of discovery and developing new skills."