Dr. Patrick Davis, professor and senior associate dean in Pharmacy, Signature Course professor and long-time participant in the Freshman Reading Round-Up, was among five winners of the President’s Associate Teaching Excellence Award. He was nominated by the School of Undergraduate Studies. The President’s Associates Teaching Excellence Award recognizes excellence in undergraduate education in the core curriculum and Signature Courses, as well as rewarding a record of engagement with curriculum reform and educational innovation. Two of the winners nominated by other colleges are also very involved with Undergraduate Studies’s core curriculum, Signature Courses, and the Reading Round-Up. Each winner will receive an honorarium of $5,000.
Michael Scott, a senior lecturer in Computer Science, teaches the Signature Course seminar Impact and History of Electronic Entertainment, leads a Reading Round-Up session on Blown to Bits: Your Life, Liberty, and Happiness After the Digital Explosion, and is a frequent presenter at the Honors Colloquium.
Dr. Wendy Domjan, from the College of Liberal Arts, teaches the Signature Course seminar On the Bright Side: The Psychology of Optimism, Love, and Virtue, and has led Reading Round-Up sessions for many years.
Each fall, the College of Liberal Arts, the College of Natural Sciences, and the School of Undergraduate Studies send forward a specified number of nominees (five, five, and three, respectively) to be considered for the award. The nominees are ranked by the dean of the nominating college. The selection committee is chaired by the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, and will also include three faculty members and one undergraduate student.
Dr. Davis’ current research efforts are focused in two areas: the impact of educational technology on teaching and learning in the scientific component of the professional (PharmD) curriculum, and the use of computer modeling and computational chemistry in predicting drug metabolism. The use of technology is being explored to enhance student understanding of the basic principles of drug metabolism, including functional group recognition and identification of relevant enzymes, reaction classifications and metabolic products.
Dr. Davis teaches a Signature Course seminar called Really Bad Bugs: Historical and Emerging Infectious Disease Case Studies that address selected historically important infectious disease in terms of their impact on human history, including social structure, government, and religion. Signature Course seminars (UGS 302) are small, 18-student classes that offer first-year students the opportunity to interact closely with a faculty member and their peers through class discussion. These courses have an expansive array of topics taught by faculty from almost every college and school at the university. In these seminar-format classes, students acquire knowledge through the symbiotic relationship of interdisciplinary study.
Dr. Davis has also led a session in the Freshman Reading Round-Up since 2004. Since 2006, Dr. Davis leads a yearly discussion on Tuesdays with Morrie with a small group of entering first-year students.
Dr. Davis frequently presents at the Honors Colloquium, a summer program for academically gifted rising high school seniors to discover and explore UT Austin. The free three-day program is a showcase of the very best the university has to offer.