Dr. Mascavage Earns Two Excellence in Teaching Awards in One Week

By schwartzsa | May 4, 2012

Dr. Linda Mascavage, Associate Professor of Chemistry, was honored not only with Arcadia University’s most prestigious faculty honor, but also with an American Chemical Society award—two major honors in less than a week.

Mascavage was selected as the 2012 recipient of the Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in the Chemical Sciences. The annual award, presented by the Philadelphia Section of the American Chemical Society, honors an outstanding full-time undergraduate chemical sciences teacher from the Delaware Valley. Mascavage will be presented with an honorarium and plaque at the May 2012 ACS Section meeting on May 17.

Mascavage also received the 2012 Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award, at Arcadia University’s Honors Convocation, April 28. The annual student-nominated award is presented to a full-time faculty member who is an especially effective classroom teacher and has significantly influenced students’ academic experience at Arcadia.

“Arcadia is a powerhouse in the health sciences—with nationally recognized programs in Physical Therapy, Physician Assistance, Genetic Counseling, Forensic Science and Counseling Psychology,” says Arcadia President Carl (Tobey) Oxholm III. “Those graduate programs are built upon a very strong foundation of chemistry, biology, mathematics and computer science. This prestigious national award confirms that we are teaching our students extraordinarily well. We are all very proud of Linda and her colleagues. Their passion for scientific exploration and discovery is only surpassed by the passion they have for instilling that passion in their students.”

Mascavage  joined the faculty in 1992 as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry and was assigned to teach Organic Chemistry, or “orgo” as it is often referred to by students. In 2002, she was promoted to Associate Professor at Arcadia University.

“Each year, we ask students to nominate their choice for this prestigious Lindback award, along with comments supporting their choice,” said Dr. Steve O. Michael, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, at the Honors Convocation on April 28. “This year, the overwhelming theme of the comments illustrated Dr. Mascavage’s ability to cut through the complexity of her subject matter and to explain, as one student states, ‘concepts very clearly and intelligently so that I was able to both understand the material and not feel like an idiot in class… [and she] explained ideas differently if the class was unclear on a certain topic.’ Another student pointed out that ‘it takes great skill and patience to instill the complicated and course of organic chemistry to a large-for-Arcadia sized class… and (she) continues to pull this difficult feat off year after year and somehow manages to make it look easy!’

“Linda’s commitment to her students is evident through comments such as: ‘She is invested in the success of her students;’ ‘she is always available for extra help and always delivers comprehensive lectures.’ In addition, her involvement in the Philadelphia Local Section of the American Chemical Society has opened up shared opportunities with her students. One such opportunity resulted in seven Chemistry majors participating in the organization’s 12th Annual Student Poster Sessions, which were held at Temple University on Feb. 23 of this year. One of the students who participated commented that it was an opportunity that would not have been sought out, had it not been for Dr. Mascavage.”

“I am honored to receive the Lindback Award and now the ACS award,” says Mascavage. “Recognition of my efforts in the classroom and the research lab is very rewarding. I am grateful to my colleagues at Arcadia, Temple and Penn State Universities, and to our chemistry majors, who put forward my nomination packet, all of which was done without my knowledge.”

Photo by Josh Blustein