TAF Outstanding Instructor Award
Senior Instructor Linda R. Allen
Dr Allen is a truly dedicated teacher, and a highly competent and skilled organizer/administrator. For many years, she was a legendary teacher of General Chemistry in the classroom (Chem1201 and Chem1202), with excellent teaching evaluations. Since her arrival at LSU, she has been the stalwart of the General Chemistry Laboratory Course (Chem1212). Alas, Dr Allen has not taught a lecture class since Spring 2008, as a consequence of her tremendous skill in coordinating the burgeoning laboratory enterprise and her aptitude for course scheduling, student advising, coordination of undergraduate awards, liaison with the College, Academic Affairs and the Registrar’s Office … and so on.
Dr Allen’s office on the first floor of Choppin Hall is a hub of activity and a source of advice, for students and faculty alike. Each semester, Dr Allen leads by example, serving as the instructor of record for about 20 sections of Chem1212. She runs a tight ship and works closely with her team of instructors and teaching assistants, training them well and keeping a close eye on their performance, adherence to safety protocols and grading.
Over the past decade, the numbers of students taking General Chemistry have increased by 25%. In 2016, Dr Allen modified or replaced each experiment in Chem1212 to ensure they could be completed within 2 hours. Her approach to experiment development involves using as many household chemicals as possible to reduce costs and to demonstrate the relevance of experiments to everyday life. She worked with her publisher to completely overhaul the printed laboratory manual. Moreover, much new, additional material was developed online (e.g., videos, question banks). Moving to a format where students spend 1 hour online for every2 hours in the lab, enabled us to introduce an extra section of Chem1212 each day in 2017, increasing our capacity from 840 to 1120 each semester.