Dolphin Award for Outstanding Teaching by a Member of the Full-Time Faculty:
Probal Banerjee, Professor, Department of Chemistry and the Center for Developmental Neuroscience
You joined the Department of Chemistry faculty at the College as an Assistant Professor in 1994, and you rose to the rank of Professor in 2005. You have also been a Joint Coordinator of the Neuroscience program since 2003. You earned a BS degree in Chemistry with Honors and an MS degree in Organic Chemistry from Jadavpur University in Calcutta, India; and a PhD in Bio-Organic Chemistry from the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore. This is your second Dolphin Award, as you were honored for Outstanding Achievement in Academic Excellence and Scholarship in 2004. We now turn our focus to your exemplary dedication and commitment to teaching. Throughout your tenure as a faculty member at CSI, you have gone above and beyond to ensure that our students receive the best education possible to foster their academic and professional success after they leave CSI. Among your many curricular achievements are the design of a new course to train Biochemistry majors in state-of-the-art experimental techniques and a course to provide students with the understanding that they need to take the “First Exam” to enter the Doctoral program. Thanks to this new class, the overall fail rate has dropped significantly and many students have done extremely well on the “First Exam.” You are also known as an effective and compassionate educator in the classroom, with the ability to use your great comprehension for the complex concepts that you teach and break them down in a simple and clear manner, while commanding constant interest from your pupils. Outside of the classroom, you are always available, irrespective of other demands on your time, to assist students with questions, and mentor doctoral research students.
You exemplify CSI’s ideal of a teacher who empowers students to succeed.