UW Chemistry Professor Earns Teaching Award

April 26, 2010
Woman creating fireball
Patricia Goodson demonstrates a hydrogen balloon fireball to students in a freshman chemistry class. Her ability to make chemistry interesting and easy to learn has earned her a Golden Apple Award.

By Jesse Johnson, UW Communications Intern

Bringing excitement and challenge into the classroom has earned University of Wyoming professor Patricia Goodson the prestigious Golden Apple Award.

Goodson's ability to make learning a difficult subject such as chemistry so intriguing is cited as a major reason she was selected for the award. The Golden Apple was established in 1986 by Beatrice Gallatin Beuf of Big Horn to recognize teaching excellence in freshman-level courses in the College of Arts and Sciences. Jennifer Turpen, lecturer in the Department of Music, also was chosen to receive the award.

Student Marcus Bailey says, "One thing I will never forget about Dr. Goodson and her classes, is the excitement she brings with her each and every day. She makes the class fun and challenging!"

"Dr. Goodson is a professor who wants her students to succeed," says student Claire Naylor. "I ended up with an A in the same course I basically failed the first time around. I may have put more effort in the second time, but I give most of the credit to her teaching."

Colleagues and students are impressed by Goodson's teaching of "the most modern examples of chemical principles." As an instructor, Goodson employs innovative and technologically-advanced teaching methods in an effort to improve student learning.

Edward L. Clennan, professor and Department of Chemistry head, says, "The inherent difficulty of chemistry makes these some of the most difficult freshman-level courses to take. As such, they are also the most difficult courses to teach. Dr. Goodson's high level of technical expertise and talent to present difficult material provides students with an unparalleled educational experience. I can think of no instructor more deserving of the Golden Apple Award."

While demonstrating a real concern for her students, Goodson's efforts reach beyond her performance as an instructor. She has recently taken on the monumental task of rebuilding the chemistry department's chemical demonstrations database. This involves purchasing supplies and equipment, testing new demonstrations and providing training for other instructors.

A winner of multiple teaching awards, recipient, Goodson is currently an academic professional lecturer in the UW Department of Chemistry. She has received both the American Chemical Society Outstanding Professor Award and the Thumbs-Up Award from the A&S Student Council. Goodson has also received the A&S Graduating Seniors' Top 10 Teacher Award and the John P. Ellbogen Meritorious Classroom Teaching Award.

Goodson holds a B.S. in chemistry (1983) from the University of Alabama, an M.S. in organic chemistry (1986) from the University of Wisconsin and a Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from UW (1990).

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