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MS&E Affiliate Faculty Member Wins 2009 Teaching Award

Mihaela C. Stefan of the Department of Chemistry has won the 2009 Faculty Teaching Award given by the School of Natural Sciences & Mathematics.

StefanDr. Stefan was nominated for the highly competitive award by students in her undergraduate organic chemistry and polymer chemistry classes.

“Mihaela is not only an outstanding teacher but also an incisive and productive researcher and a wonderful mentor,” said Yves Chabal, head of Materials Science & Engineering and holder of the TI Distinguished Chair in Nanoelectronics.

Dr. Stefan’s main research interests are in the development of novel polymers for organic electronics and medical applications. Her research group includes five graduate students and five undergraduate students, and in only two years at the University she has offered research experiences in her lab to 15 undergraduate students.

Dr. Stefan joined UT Dallas in August 2007, and she says she’s most proud of her students’ achievements. Graduate student Mussie Alemseghed won second place for a presentation at the ChemBio Symposia in April, and graduate student Nadia Khanam Hundt won second place for a presentation at the 42nd Annual American Chemical Society Meeting-in-Miniature of the ACS-DFW Section. Rebekah Sessoms, an undergraduate student performing research in Dr. Stefan’s group for two semesters, received the Natural Sciences school’s 2009 teaching assistant award.

As an affiliate faculty member in Materials Science & Engineering, Dr. Stefan taught Advanced Polymer Science and Engineering, which was offered to both chemistry and materials science graduate students this spring.

Dr. Stefan is an active participant in the Faculty Mentoring Program at UT Dallas. Dr. Chabal is her UT Dallas senior mentor, and her external senior mentor is Dr. Timothy M. Swager, chair of the Chemistry Department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.