Professor J. Ilja Siepmann exemplifies excellence in teaching

Chemistry professor J. Ilja Siepmann feels that his contributions to students' development and success are his greatest achievement. His knowledge and teaching prowess have earned him a Distinguished Teaching Award.

"One is simultaneously faced with the responsibilities as an adviser to ensure excellent research progress and as a mentor to foster, but not steer, the development of bright young people," Siepmann said "To the extent that I have contributed to their success, I consider this to be my greatest and most profound achievement as a faculty member."

Siepmann takes great pride in his students. From his excellent instruction and development of graduate programs to his involvement of students in research, scholarships, and professional development to his superior mentoring skills, Siepmann is far from being "just" a professor.

Siepmann has a range of experience. From lecturing at UNESCO workshops in Italy to a summer school in Finland, Siepmann bestows much knowledge in his field of chemistry. This is reflected in his ability to create research groups that intrigue and push students. As a former student says, "Ilja's dedication to his students is unwavering. One of his many strengths is recognizing the capabilities of his students and encouraging them to push their limits."

His outstanding knowledge in the field of chemistry and his ability to teach it in an intriguing way has helped Siepmann make advances in graduate programs as well. These advances have greatly benefited students, such as new procedures for Ph.D. students to earn an M.S. along the way and new common rules for preliminary exams.

Siepmann is also recognized as a skillful mentor. Another former student states, "His guidance and insistence on provocative and important research questions, careful and appropriate methods, and cogent reporting not only assisted me in my dissertation research but also helped me in my professional development."