Astronomer Receives Prestigious Teaching Award
release: April 12, 2001
Matthew Bobrowsky, an adjunct professor who teaches astronomy at University of Maryland University College (UMUC), was presented the prestigious Board of Regents Faculty Award for teaching excellence from the University System of Maryland (USM) during a ceremony April 6 in Baltimore, Md. Only three teaching awards were given to professors among over 7,000 faculty members throughout USM, the 12th largest public higher education system nationwide. Bobrowsky was also a recipient of UMUC’s Stanley J. Drazek Teaching Excellence Award in 1998.
"There is no faculty member who better represents UMUC’s mission to serve our students with excellent teaching, mastery of his discipline, and adaptability to the needs of working adults than Matthew Bobrowsky," wrote Robert E. Myers, UMUC executive vice president and chief operating officer, in nominating Bobrowsky. "He is the UMUC faculty at its best."
Bobrowsky, of Columbia, Md., earned his doctorate in physics and astronomy at the University of Maryland, College Park, and works as an astrophysicist at the Challenger Center for Space Science Education in Alexandria, Va. One of his research achievements was the discovery of a previously unknown star in the Stingray Nebula using the Hubble Space Telescope.
At UMUC, Bobrowsky has served in a peer mentor program, offering support and guidance to less experienced faculty, and he was part of a team that developed an online basic astronomy course in 1999. Over 200 students from the United States and five other countries have enrolled in the course to date.
"My approach to teaching," Bobrowsky said, "has always been to look at all of my educational experiences—as a student, as a teacher, and in other roles as well—and to incorporate the best ideas into my own teaching."
Teaching extends beyond the classroom for Bobrowsky. He speaks frequently in local schools and regularly presents at educational conferences, such as the National Science Teachers Association Conference. Bobrowsky is a member of several professional societies and has published articles in various journals including Nature and The Physics Teacher.
Bobrowsky is the first astronomer to receive the USM award.
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