Noel Sturm: Chemistry Professor Awarded Iota Sigma Pi Centennial Award for Excellence in Teaching
Noel Sturm was recently awarded the 2009 Centennial Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching by Iota Sigma Pi, the National Honor Society for Women in Chemistry, and will be honored at the organization’s triannual conference in 2011.
The professor of chemistry and biochemistry was recognized for her achievements, which include establishing a bachelor’s degree program in biochemistry at California State University, Dominguez Hills and working with the U.S. Department of Education’s Quality Educator Development (QED) professional development program.
Sturm, says that her experiences in the QED program helped her to change her approach in order to reach a diversity of students with a wide range of abilities. She is proud of “the one-on-one [instruction] that you’re able to get here” – and the drive of a student population that deals with the challenges of juggling the responsibilities of families and jobs along with a challenging curriculum.
“For a lot of the students, it’s the first time anyone in their families has gone to college... [or have] goals to go to graduate school,” she says. “We get students into really top graduate programs and they’re always coming back and telling us how well-prepared they are... comparing themselves to students from top institutions around the country. That is particularly rewarding.”
In 2007, Sturm received the Lyle E. Gibson Distinguished Teaching Award at CSU Dominguez Hills. While serving as the chair of the chemistry department that year, Sturm created a new bachelor’s degree program in biochemistry as a prerequisite for Dominguez Hills students who are pursuing medical, dental or veterinarian degrees.
Sturm received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemistry at the University of California, Davis; her doctorate in chemistry from the University of Toledo; and a post doctoral fellowship in chemistry at the University of Arizona. She served a pharmaceutical internship at Miles-Cutter Laboratories in research and development leading to non-human plasma derived clotting factor (rF-VIII). Prior to arriving at CSU Dominguez Hills in 1996, she taught at University of Arizona’s College of Medicine and lectured at Saddleback College and UCLA Extension. She earned her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in chemistry at UC Davis and her doctorate at the University of Toledo, followed by a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Arizona.
An expert on peptide, tissue culture, and organic synthesis, Sturm has written extensively on teaching pedagogies in the sciences, including articles for the journal Chemistry Educator, the American Association of College for Teacher Education, and the International Society for Exploring Teaching and Learning. She has received research grants from the Department of Defense, Army Research Office; the Minority Biochemical Research Program of the National Institutes of Health; and a Research and Scholarly Activity Award from CSU Dominguez Hills.
- Joanie Harmon