Dr Kandace Hurst
TAF Undergraduate Teaching Award
After experience in the local school system, Dr Hurst returned to LSU to teach General Chemistry in Fall 2014. She brings valuable insights from her time as a high school teacher. She is a great instructor who takes a genuine interest in her students and the mission of the institution. A typical semester in the academic life of Dr Hurst consists of two large sections of General Chemistry Lecture (Chem1201 in Fall and Chem1202 in Spring) and serving as the instructor of record for a section of General Chemistry Laboratory.
Student evaluations describe a helpful and enthusiastic teacher. Students concede that her explanations are very clear. They complain mercilessly about the difficulty of her tests; she expects students to synthesize ideas to solve a problem, not to plug numbers into a cookie-cutter equation. A student who took the General Chemistry sequence with Dr Hurst said, ““as introductory science courses go, this one stood out in my mind as highly engaging and enjoyable.” Another described her as ““an amazing educator and a great personality.” In the words of her students:
- I would take her class again in a heartbeat
- [this class] actually made me consider changing my major to chemistry
- She makes the most of the time we have in class and is able to explain the material so that everyone can understand it.
- She welcomed questions, worked lots of problems during class.
- Dr Hurst is challenging, motivating and truly wants what is best for every student.
For a couple of years, Dr Hurst has taught the sections of Chem1201 and Chem1202 that are prescribed for the students of the Science Residential College. In 2017, she received a student-nominated University College Tiger Athletic Foundation Teaching Award. A regular teacher of Chem1212 (General Chemistry Lab), Dr Hurst stepped up to teach Chem1431 (Honors General Chemistry Lab) in Spring 2017. Her superb organization and clear communication were in play in the lab environment, working with her TAs and helping students with their independent projects. A TA who worked alongside Dr Hurst described her “extraordinary character along with the professionalism.”
Kandace is a valuable member of our Undergraduate Studies & Awards Committee and the Chem1212 General Chemistry Lab Team. This summer, she is joining forces with the BIOS team to contribute overall and to provide some chemistry-specific components for budding chemistry majors.