published December 5, 2008

Garon Smith Named Montana Professor of the Year

Garon Smith, a professor of chemistry at the University of Montana and long-time participant and leader in SENCER, was recently honored as the 2008 Montana Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement of Education.

Each year, the two organizations elect undergraduate educators who positively influence students and who are exceptional teachers to the U.S. Professors of the Year program. One professor from each state was honored at a formal luncheon and congressional ceremony in late November in Washington, DC. While in Washington, Garon met with Montana's senators, Max Baucus and Jon Tester. He was also honored the next day during the annual University of Montana - Montana State University rivalry game in Missoula.

Garon, also known as 'G. Wiz' to students on campus and around the state, engages students in chemistry and the sciences in general with his dynamic presentations. In addition to his teaching duties at the University, he travels throughout the state of Montana to encourage interest and excitement in science. Garon is a recognized leader on campus and to colleagues around the country in implementing innovative teaching methods that improve learning.

Garon is a senior associate and SENCER Leadership Fellow. He also serves as a member of the SENCER Summer Institute Faculty, and most recently has presented on using math diagnostics in powerpoint presentations, active learning, and undergraduate research, and made an appearance as G.Wiz to demonstrate some of his magical techniques that inspire students.
* References: 'Baucus, Tester Honor MT Professor of the Year' and 'UM's G.Wiz Named Top Professor of the Year'