Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology
Illinois State University
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2011 Outstanding University Teacher Award Winner Category I

Craig McLauchlan, Ph.D.

  • Ph.D. in Chemistry from Northwestern University (2000)
  • Associate Professor and Associate Chair of Undergraduate Programs, Department of Chemistry

Teaching philosophy

I want every student who walks out of my classroom to have learned something about chemistry and to have acquired an appreciation for the scientific method and chemistry, even if they did not learn all of the facts.

Three most valuable approaches that I bring to my teaching practice

These involve motivating students (including building a rapport with them), encouraging individual thought and critical thinking, and presenting chemistry to appeal to multiple modes of learning.

Most rewarding aspect of teaching

My greatest reward is in seeing students “get it.” I sincerely believe that their learning is not always reflected in their grades and I often tell them that their grades are of no matter to me. I, for one, often did not learn the material until after I had taken an examination. So, there is a genuine pleasure for me in watching them truly learn something.

Best compliment from a student

“I really think that our professor wanted his class to learn the material and pass his class. He really tried to create interesting ways of teaching the material. Although this is a repeat course for me, I feel this class has made a lot more sense than the previous. I may not do that well on an exam, but I have learned the material and could explain it to another person.” It still makes me smile to read that.

Proudest teaching accomplishment

Having students write me in five years saying they appreciated NOW what I taught them then.

Craig McLauchlan, Ph. D.
“The most important improvement I have made from the outset of my career until now is worrying less about content coverage and TRYING to focus more on learning and thinking.”
2017-07-20T13:28:06.182-05:00 2017