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Texas Excellence Teaching Award
Fast, Tolman Receive Salutes from Students


Dr. Walter Fast, associate professor of medicinal chemistry, was named faculty recipient, and Dr. Justin Tolman, graduate student in pharmaceutics, was named teaching assistant recipient of the annual Texas Exes Teaching Awards for pharmacy.

Fast, a native of Pittsburgh, Pa., earned his bachelor's degree in chemistry from Wheaton College and his Ph.D. in biochemistry from Northwestern University. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in chemistry at Penn State University.

Despite his intense educational background in medicinal chemistry, he is able to convey his knowledge about complex concepts through a "student perspective" that enables each student to grasp the concepts clearly and effectively.

Fast incorporates interactive learning with 3D visuals that encourage students to gain a better understanding of the concepts. Students also praised him for adding interest to his lectures by presenting background information, interesting facts and new discoveries.

"Dr. Fast truly excelled in making sure that each student understands and appreciates topics at hand," wrote one student nominator.


Tolman comes to the college after completing pre-pharmacy work at Brigham Young University. He earned the Pharm.D. from The University of Texas in 2005 and is currently working with Dr. Robert O. (Bill) Williams III to complete his Ph.D. A native of Little Rock, Ark., he grew up in Fort Worth. Tolman is married with three children.

He has been a teaching assistant for patient counseling at the University Health Services and in the nonsterile compounding lab. He also has assisted in the advancement of the college by serving on the dean's search committee.

"He has a talent to instill motivation and enthusiasm about the profession in students. He goes above and beyond to enhance student learning and his commitment to the college is an inspiration to other students," wrote one nominator.

In nominating him for the award, another student wrote: "He is very approachable, down-to-earth, and friendly."

Another wrote: "I have made a friend out of this colleague."

Last Reviewed: February 7, 2008

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