William D. and Flora McCormick Chair in Biophysics

Bill McCormick P'97, Flora McCormick P'97, Brian McCormick '97 and Rosa McCormick visited campus in May 2016 to celebrate the appointment of Rachel Pepper as the William D. and Flora McCormick Chair in Biophysics. The event showcased the advances being made in the program and to honor the generosity of the donors. Festivities included meeting with faculty and students, a lab and poster session with students, a biophysics seminar, and reception.

Dr. Pepper has been teaching for more than a decade and received two teaching awards while in graduate school at Harvard: the Harold T. White Prize for Excellence in the Teaching of Physics and a Certificate of Distinction in Teaching. From 2009 to 2011, as a senior teaching fellow at University of Colorado Boulder, Pepper researched science learning techniques and helped to transform upper-division physics courses by introducing strategies such as peer instruction, interactive engagement, and conceptual assessments.

“I treat education the same way that I treat the rest of my science,” Pepper explained. “You can gather data on student learning and come to understand what methods work most effectively. I find that students learn best when they are actively grappling with the material, so I am hoping to get students to do this in my courses. I also look forward to involving Puget Sound students in lab work, so they can see biophysics in action.”

Pictured: Biophysics Lab Tour and Presentations by Dr. Rachel Pepper, Joel Eklof '16, Bianca Lim '16 and Garrett Buffington.

May 2, 2016